At first blush, the teaming of search-engine operator Google, a leader in connected wearable’s, appears counter intuitive. One company monetizes the content it delivers by keeping users glued to their screens; the other developed its business by raising people to their feet.
Around the world and transversely a healthcare industry ranging from insurers to pharma companies and research facilities, software developers and device makers are improving outcomes and cutting costs via the cloud.
Other notable tie-ups include Microsoft's announcement in January that it is using artificial intelligence to help Seattle-based Adaptive Biotechnologies improve disease diagnosis and treatment with immunotherapy. The same month, Amazon Web Services, the cloud ancillary of the global retailing and logistics giant, announced it would provide the infrastructure for the joint employee healthcare network.
Introduced in March, Google’s Cloud for Healthcare API seeks to velocity the process by giving developers a tool for standardizing disparate formats, including for experimental research and the progress and testing of pharmaceuticals.
Individuals - themselves ever more adept at managing their care in an era of rising costs, in part through websites accessed via internet search engines stand to help, as do their employers.
Like the Cloud for Healthcare API that it supports, Espresso is one building block in a decade-long strategy to implement software-defined networks on the servers Google operates, which together lever around 20% of global internet traffic. The protocols enable Google to improve the bandwidth for peer servers, including those operated by cloud service customers.
For Fitbit, the announcement of the tie-up coincides with a slide in sales of its devices, leading to a 17% year-on-year dip in first-quarter revenues. Executives say the Google partnership will enable FitBit Health Solutions to donate a larger share of the group's earnings as it transitions into services provision as part of a restructuring keep fit undertaken last year in response to the sales decline.