Google + Wellness. Sign me up.
A fusion of one of the most powerful technology companies in the world with a health and wellness agenda. Hell yes.
A few months ago Google CEO Larry Page announced the creation of a new company in the Google family, Calico. Their all-star team is tackling one of the biggest problems in all of healthcare: aging gracefully. No, I'm not being facetious. Aging is inevitable, obviously. But aging in a way that preserves your quality of life? That is much more elusive in the US. Our "healthcare" system is really more of a "disease management" system. People live longer, sure, but unfortunately many not to an extent where they are able to enjoy life in a significant way.
While I actually have no idea what Google has in store for their ambitious anti-aging venture, the possibilities are virtually endless and all exciting. Will Calico become a traditional biotech company (as "traditional" as Google can be) complete with R&D, labs full of pipettes and white coats, and a pipeline of pharmaceuticals? Will the focal point be technology and our interaction with it as we age? Perhaps they have a line of droid robots in store on which one may download their brain, thus removing the need for a body.
Likely a mixture of all (hello, droid brain future), the acquisition of Nest as announced in a press release today has me leaning toward the second option. (Not to mention Google's standing as a, um, technology company.) Utilizing and maximizing information to allow users to lead optimal lives with minimal persistent effort. This is the kind of model that might work extremely well in the aging population. Imagine a screen that automatically adjusted the brightness, contrast and even content based on ones pupil diameter and breathing rate, saving your precious eyesight while delivering über personalized content that you are most apt to process at that moment. What if by placing your hands on the keyboard, your heartbeat was recorded and automatically uploaded to your medical file that your doctor would be alerted to review if any inconsistency arose? How about using that heartbeat information to sense when you are anxious or tense, and tweaking the color scheme and music on your computer/phone/tv/living space accordingly?
From telomeres to tablets, I'm excited to see what Calico has in store. And live to 200 at least.