This Former Google Moonshot Is Going All in With a New Name

8 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Alphabet’s Life Sciences Business Has a New Name: Verily.

Verily, the rebranded name for Google Life Sciences, is a newly separate company under Alphabet, the holding company that now houses Google and its many expanding businesses. Alphabet Inc’s life sciences unit, which was previously part of the tech company’s Google X research and development unit, has picked Verily as its new name as it seeks more visibility in the fast-growing medical technology sector.Verily’s website discusses hardware initiatives such as a contact lens with an embedded glucose sensor, and software efforts like a multiple sclerosis research program that combines wearable sensors with traditional clinical tests. The name change follows Google’s transition to the parent name Alphabet, which in October became the publicly traded company that houses Google’s core search and web advertising business, as well as maps, YouTube and its “moon shot” ventures such as driverless cars. A Verily spokesperson said “Verily is a new company that is focused on bringing together technology, science and medicine in the places where we think we can have the biggest impact on the detection, management, and prevention of disease.” In August, Google Inc. restructured itself into the Alphabet holding company.

Verily connects subject experts to uncover better ways to distill information using Google’s unique specialities: massive data stores and large scale computing power. The goal is to ultimately launch new technologies, studies, or companies that will solve pressing health needs. “How can we detect disease earlier, understand it better, and intervene in the course of the disease more precisely?” Vik Bajaj, chief scientific officer for Verily, said in a video introduction to Verily. “We will understand disease at the individual level. The company’s research team is also undertaking a multi-year project, known as the Baseline study, that aims to identify traits associated with a healthy human and the changes that take place as individuals transition from health to disease.

Google co-founder and Alphabet CEO Larry Page hopes the changes free up Google executives to focus on growing the core operations more efficiently with fewer distractions, while giving leaders of the newer businesses freedom to pursue opportunities without worrying how they affect the rest of the company. The chief executive of Verily is Andy Conrad, a cell biologist. “Andy Conrad will continue to lead the team, reporting to a board made up of representatives from Alphabet and Verily,” said a Verily spokeswoman in an emailed statement.

Verily means “truth” or “truly” and the name, according to the spokeswoman, is meant to underscore the company’s mission to”reveal a true picture of health and disease.” “We’re focused on chronic conditions that impact a large number of people: cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, neurodegenerative disease, and mental health,” she said. Verily also plans to go beyond health-focused hardware to develop bio-molecular nanotechnology, surgical robotics, and algorithms that can analyze complex biological information.

By analyzing enough data over time, Verily is hoping to discover life-saving patterns for early disease detection, help accurately diagnose illnesses, and choose better treatments. An example of Verily’s big data efforts is its Baseline Study, which aims to collect enough information to be able to accurately define what “healthy” is for the human body.

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