Google to retake DeepMind’s AI healthcare unit as it moves toward a cohesive strategy

Google has introduced a network attached storage service to its cloud storage portfolio (Image SpVVK / iStockPhoto)
DeepMind’s health researchers have explored the use of AI in reading mammograms and head and neck CT scans, as well as mining health records from the Department of Veterans Affairs. (SpVVK/iStockPhoto)

Days after poaching a health system executive to pull together its disparate healthcare ventures, Google moved to reabsorb DeepMind’s health business, including those behind its mobile app for doctors and nurses.

DeepMind, Alphabet’s U.K.-based artificial intelligence company, announced in a blog post that the team responsible for its Streams app and medical research projects will be joining the tech giant. Google first acquired DeepMind in 2014, before restructuring into its parent company, Alphabet, and transferring its subsidiaries.

Since then, DeepMind’s health researchers have explored the use of AI in reading mammograms and head and neck CT scans, as well as mining historical health records from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for patterns to predict the deterioration of patients while under care.

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The Streams app, meanwhile, is used to automatically review test results for potentially serious issues, alert the patient’s relevant clinicians, and provide them information on previous conditions to assist in diagnosis.

The end game is for Streams to become “an AI-powered assistant for nurses and doctors everywhere,” combining its algorithms with strong evidence, DeepMind wrote, with the project being completed from within Google.

RELATED: U.K. hospital partnering with Google’s DeepMind to use AI in scanning for eye diseases

The DeepMind health team will remain in London and will continue its work with its academic and National Health Service partners, the company said. In the future, it will work with Google to incorporate the results of its research into clinical settings.

RELATED: Google to bring on Geisinger’s CEO to direct its healthcare efforts

Last week, Google hired Geisinger CEO David Feinberg, M.D., to develop a cohesive strategy for Google’s various health and health-adjacent enterprises, including through home automation hardware and wearables.

During Feinberg’s four-year tenure at Geisinger—which services more than 1.5 million patients—the health system pursued several programs to integrate big data, electronic health records and genomics into its care, including through collaborations with pharmaceutical companies.

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