Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) is giving the team that builds smart contact lenses and other medical products the status of a full-fledged company instead of a lab project. Google co-founder Sergey Brin announced that the life sciences group will separate out from the Google X labs and be an independent company as part of the new Alphabet corporate structure. The CEO of the new entity will be Andy Conrad, a molecular biologist.
Conrad was earlier chief scientific officer at LabCorp, a molecular diagnostic testing company. He is also one of the co-founders of the National Genetic Institute. Conrad will manage software developers, optic experts and oncologists at the Alphabet company.
Brin added that while the reporting hierarchy will be different, their objective continues to be the same. They will collaborate with other life sciences organizations to advance new technologies from the R&D stage to clinical testing and revolutionize the manner diseases are sensed, managed and prevented.
The new company will strive to have proactive instead of reactive approaches to health care. Along with the contact lens, its endeavors include a gene analysis initiative to obtain a picture of an individual’s health on a molecular level and a diagnostics system based on nanotechnology.
Google revealed its major reorganization last week which segregates its core services such as search and ads from projects such as self-driving automobiles under a new holding entity called Alphabet. Now Alphabet will have two health related companies below it – the new life sciences entity and Calico which is dedicated to aging-related health issues.
In a Google+ post, Brin wrote that three years back Google started a project to have a smart contact lens- a very challenging technical project with a significant health application. While he was happy with the project’s progress, he didn’t imagine it would evolve into an independent entity with a mission to transform healthcare.
Sources: pcworld, businessinsider