Google hires Geisinger CEO to lead healthcare initiatives

Alicia Farmer
November 11, 2018

The report says Feinberg will coordinate the health features in Google Fit, Nest, Google Search, Google Brain, and the company's cloud business.

The new Google leadership position is expected to provide strategic direction for the initiatives already under way at the company targeting healthcare, from web services to machine learning to devices, according to an unnamed source cited in the report.

Meanwhile, Jaewon Ryu has been appointed as interim president and CEO of Geisinger, effective December 1, 2018.

She says a possible departure was even discussed with Dr. Feinberg, "He and I spent a lot of time looking at this and talking about it, and what we designed with them transcends any leadership changes on either side".

The company recently hosted a two-day conference for employees working in health at Google, as well as its Alphabet subsidiaries. Prior to that, he served as CEO of UCLA's health system.

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On Friday, Google AI senior fellow Jeff Dean tweeted about Feinberg's new role at the tech giant.

Google is an active participant in the healthcare big data and interoperability ecosystem, with an interest in FHIR and APIs.

During Feinberg's tenure as CEO, Geisinger has launched multiple precision medicine projects, opened a new medical school with a population health focus, collaborated with Epic Systems to bring a population health toolkit to the EHR vendor's Healthy Planet offering, and developed multiple other applications and strategies to enhance the delivery of virtual and in-person care.

"For the past 4-5 years we've been excited by our early work showing how AI can help improve healthcare, from detecting cancer and eye disease to alerting doctors when patients urgently need care", Dean tweeted. He joined Geisinger in 2016. A unit of Google's parent company also hired former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Robert Califf a year ago.

The company has also made a number of investments in healthcare through its venture funds GV and Capital G as well as through Alphabet itself. That job ultimately went to Dr. Atul Gawande.

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