Verily Life Sciences, Alphabet’s life sciences division, has tied up with pharmaceutical company Sanofi to invest $500 million in a joint venture called Onduo to collaborate on devices and services related to diabetes, reports Reuters.
Sanofi will use Verily’s ‘miniaturised electronics, analysis and consumer software development’ to find diabetes treatments. It could sell online services and a connected insulin pen among others. Google renamed its Life Sciences arm to Verily Life Sciences in December last year.
A month ago, Verily Life Sciences formed a joint venture with pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) to invest $714 million in a new company called Galvani Bioelectronics. The joint venture would get access to GSK’s drug development and disease biology expertise, whereas Verily would provide miniature electronics, data and software for clinical purposes. GSK has also invested $50 million in a VC fund for bioelectronics and funded scientists working in the field but outside its company.
Health tracking wristband & diabetes detecting lenses:
In June 2015, Google created an experimental health tracking wristband which could be used in clinical trials and drug tests to measure pulse, heart rhythm skin temperature etc. but would not be a consumer facing device. In January 2014, the company was testing prototypes for a smart contact lens which would measure the glucose level in a person’s tears using a tiny wireless chip and glucose sensor. Find Verily’s other ventures here.
Consumer health info through apps on Android & iOS
– In April 2015, Google started displaying info on Google Now cards from apps like RunKeeper, Runtastic, Jawbone, Feedly and 67 other apps. In June 2014, Google roped in fitness brands like Adidas which would be opening up data from its smart sensors to developers on Google Fit platform.
– Likewise, in the same month, Apple released ResearchKit, its software framework for medical research which would allow researchers to procure data directly from iPhones. ResearchKit would work with HealthKit, Apple’s software framework that provides developers the ability to let fitness and health apps communicate with each other. This software framework was introduced in iOS 8 and let ResearchKit access and use data, such as weight, glucose levels, blood pressure, asthma inhaler use etc., from third party devices and apps.
Other developments in e-health:
– In August, Apple acquired personal health data startup Gliimpse for an undisclosed amount.
– In April this year, Nokia Technologies acquired health devices maker Withings for €170 million, and established a new Digital Health business unit led by Withings CEO Cédric Hutchings. Withings product line included activity trackers, smart body analyzer scales, thermometers, blood pressure monitors, home and baby monitors and more.
– In August 2015, Adidas acquired running and fitness app Runtastic for $240 million.