Somewhat lost amid this week’s excitement surrounding Google’s rebirth as Alphabet was the company’s latest foray into the world of medical devices. The company has entered into an agreement with DexCom to create a series of disposable continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) devices that the companies claim will be smaller and more affordable than current options.
“We’re committed to developing new technologies that will help move health care from reactive to proactive,” Andrew Conrad, head of the life sciences team at Google, said in a statement released by the two companies. “This collaboration is another step towards expanding monitoring options and making it easier for people with diabetes to proactively manage their health.”
The collaboration will pair DexCom’s sensor technology with Google’s miniaturized electronics platform. Together, the two companies hope to develop a device with a bandage-sized sensor that will be connected to the cloud.
Earlier this week, while explaining the reasoning behind the change to the name Alphabet, Google cofounder Larry Page emphasized the importance of the company’s Life Sciences effort, which has been working on a glucose-sensing contact lens.
Following the news, a report on Medium revealed that the Life Sciences initiative will no longer be a part of Google X (the company’s experiment-focused incubator), and will operate as a standalone company under the stewardship of its current leader, Conrad.
Google’s new partnership with an established player in the field of medical devices further establishes the company’s seriousness about making real inroads into health care.
“Partnerships between companies of the likes of Google and Dexcom to innovate in diabetes care can catapult the development of new technology forward,” Hope Warshaw, a dietitian, diabetes educator and author of Eat Out, Eat Well, told Mashable. “Diabetes management is a 24/7, 365 extra curricula job for people and caretakers. Any tools that can make management easier is a plus.”