Tech giant Google has roped in a former US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) leader Bakul Patel as its new senior director of global digital health strategy. Patel spent over a decade at the FDA and most recently was the chief digital health officer of global strategy and innovation. "I am excited to announce that I am joining Google Health to be part of an incredible mission...," Patel said in a LinkedIn post. "I am thrilled and excited to continue furthering my mission to improve healthcare for all and be part of an organization that is committed to delivering products and services to help people along their health journey," he added.
According to The Verge, Google has pushed further into health and healthcare over the past few years, with mixed results. Its ambitions range from mining big data for algorithms to developing disease-detecting tools to pumping wearables full of health features. But its strategy has gone through some upheaval: the company dissolved the Google Health division in August 2021 and spread its employees around to various initiatives. The head of the division left the company. Patel is only the latest to enter the new revolving door between Alphabet and federal regulatory agencies. Current FDA Commissioner Robert Califf is a former Alphabet senior advisor and Google's chief health officer Karen DeSalvo is the former director of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology.