Now that the Alphabet restructuring is kicking into gear, the company today has renamed its experimental health care branch. The branch was originally named Google Life Sciences, but from here on out will be known as “Verily.” The goals of Verily are identical to Life Sciences and the only thing that’s really changing is the name.
Verily is a Middle English word that means “truly” or “certainly,” which CEO Andy Conrad says is the main motto of Alphabet’s health unit. “Only through the truth are we going to defeat Mother Nature,” Conrad said in a statement to health website STAT. Verily’s focus, Conrad explained, is a shift from traditional medicinal technologies. “From reactive to proactive, from intervention to prevention,” he explained.
Verily is run by Andy Conrad with Linus Upson taking the role of head of engineering. Upson has been at Google for ten years and co-founded the Chrome browser with Sundar Pichai. Google Life Sciences, now Verily, debuted with its smart contact lens, which it licensed to pharmaceutical company Novartis. Verily also hired the top mental health scientist from the National Institutes of Health.
Here is how Verily describes itself on its website:
Imagine a chemist and an engineer and a doctor and a behavioral scientist, all working together to truly understand health and to better prevent, detect, and manage disease. Picture a world in which technology and life sciences are not distinct, but partners with a united mission. At Verily, that’s the world we want to create.
Yesterday, we showed you that life sciences and health were key areas of investment for Aphabet’s venture capitol arm. In total, the arm in vested in 39 companies and has $2.4 billion under management. 31 percent of investments were in health and life science companies.
Earlier reports have suggested that Alphabet’s Access and Energy branch will also soon be renamed. Access and Energy includes Google Fiber, OnHub, Project Link, Project Sunroof, and Project Titan. While this renaming has yet to be announced, it will certainly be interesting to see how Google is able to tie all of those companies together with one word.
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