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August 13, 2015.
Google's renaming as Alphabet "spells big things for healthcare", according to Dan Diamond, writing in Forbes this week. "It positions the tech company to expand into health care, which could be very healthy for its long-term fortunes," he writes. While Google’s healthcare ambitions have not been secret, none of the company's mooted innovations have approached becoming a reality; the shift to Alphabet, however, "could catalyze a new wave of product development", says Diamond. As a holding company, Alphabet's role will be "to empower the individual business units and maximize their performance", vital in a huge business that has not been organically aligned. "While the new batch of standalone companies will still be funded by Google’s billions, at least to start, the Alphabet firms won’t have the protection of being in-house start-ups anymore... [It] will become much easier for speculators to get a sense for how they’re doing," writes Diamond. Google's, now Alphabet's, healthcare ventures include Life Sciences; biotech company Calico, headed by the former CEO of Genentech, Arthur Levinson; Google Ventures, which directed "about 36% of its dollars [toward] healthcare in 2014"; and Google X, which "has just poached a well-regarded cardiologist from Harvard to head up its Baseline Study into the human body". Read the Forbes article here.