Alphabet (Google) Inks Another Healthcare Deal

Dexcom hopes to combine its own technology with miniaturized electronics. “when we get through the development we’ll have something that is very low cost and very small,” says Dexcom’s Steve Pacelli. The announcement comes just after Google’s widely reported announcement that it’s reinventing itself as Alphabet.
Notably, that new company will cover under its umbrella both Life Sciences and Calico, a group that aims to tackle the problem of aging. As has been noted elsewhere, the Alphabet announcement granted a promotion to Life Sciences. The group has broken out from the Google X “moonshot” research division to form its own company (wholly owned by Alphabet), focused on everything from early disease detection to organizing a “Baseline Study” to figure out what’s normal for a human body.
Notably, the Dexcom partnership is the second major diabetes project the company is working on. The first, a smart contact lens that will monitor glucose levels continuously from the comfort of your eyeball, was announced through a partnership with Novartis last January. The Dexcom partnership focuses on something a little more traditional: making a continuous glucose monitor that’s cheaper, more convenient and disposable.
The sensor will be about the size of a Band-Aid and sit on the skin to monitor blood sugar levels on a constant basis rather than in a series of isolated finger pricks. The aim is to connect Dexcom’s sensors and algorithms with Google hardware, and its cloud. “Add all that together with a robust data platform, I don’t think anyone could argue who has the best data platform,” Pacelli laughs. “Diabetes management is largely predicated on having data to make better decisions.”
He doesn’t know quite what Monday’s announcement means for the partnership going forward, Alphabet higher-ups haven’t shared too much with him, but he’s optimistic. “They’ve clearly identified healthcare and their Life Science group as a priority,” he says. Google, after all, was the company that initiated the partnership.