L is for Life Sciences: Google's contact lens maker will be its own company

Google's Life Sciences unit, previously part of its X research lab, will become its own company under Alphabet.

Google's Life Sciences unit, whose projects include a smart contact lens for measuring blood glucose levels, will become an independent company within Alphabet under Google's reorganization.

The unit, previously part of the Google X research lab, will become a standalone Alphabet company, Google cofounder Sergey Brin said in a Google+ post on Thursday.

Andy Conrad, who has run the division since 2013, will be its CEO. Conrad was previously chief scientific officer at molecular diagnostic testing company LabCorp. and also cofounded the National Genetics Institute.

He will oversee software engineers, oncologists and optics experts at the Alphabet company, where they'll continue to work with other life sciences companies to move new technologies from early stage R&D to clinical testing, Brin said.

The new company will aim to develop proactive, rather than reactive, approaches to health care. In addition to the contact lens, its work includes a gene analysis project to create a picture of a person's health on a molecular level, and a diagnostics system built around nanotechnology.

Google announced its sweeping reorganization last week, which separates its core services like search and ads from emerging projects like self-driving cars, under a new holding company named Alphabet.

When the changes were announced, Google said Alphabet's new companies would comprise "far afield" efforts like its Life Sciences unit as well as Calico, which is focused on health and aging. But at the time, Google stopped short of saying which companies will be spun out under Alphabet.

"This is the type of company we hope will thrive as part of Alphabet," Brin said on Thursday.

He didn't announce a new name for the Life Sciences division, so it's unclear yet what it will be called, and he didn't say when it will officially be formed. Alphabet will come into existence later this year.

While Google is now identifying new companies within Alphabet, it's also starting to slim down Google itself. Niantic Labs, an augmented reality division, will split from Google and Alphabet entirely.

Brin will become Alphabet's president. Larry Page, Google's cofounder and current CEO, will become CEO of Alphabet. Sundar Pichai, currently Google's head of product, will become Google's CEO.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Google

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Zach Miners

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?