Google X is the semi-secret, hyper-progressive research and development facility founded in 2010 by Brin and Google cofounder Larry Page and overseen by Astro Teller. Last year, that team developed a smart contact lens that helped diabetics painlessly monitor their glucose levels, among other things.
The life sciences projects inside Google X are separate from those of Calico, an independent biotech company cofounded in 2013 by Google Inc. and Arthur Levinson to extend life by combatting aging and associated diseases.
Andy Conrad, the head of Google Life Sciences and a Google Ventures adviser, will be the CEO of the new Google X company under Alphabet, Brin announced in the post.
“Three years ago we embarked on a project to put computing inside a contact lens–an immensely challenging technical problem with an important application to health. While I am delighted at the progress that project has made, I could not have imagined the potential of the initiative it has grown into–a life sciences team with the mission to develop new technologies to make healthcare more proactive,” Brin says in the post.
Work inside Google X has spawned a nanodiagnostics platform, a cardiac and activity monitor, and the Baseline Study, Google’s genomics project that aims to map a healthy human body. The team will encompass a diverse range of experience like software engineers, oncologists, and optics experts–a now-common approach to solving issues in our health system.
“While the reporting structure will be different, their goal remains the same. They’ll continue to work with other life sciences companies to move new technologies from early stage R&D to clinical testing—and, hopefully transform the way we detect, prevent, and manage disease,” says Brin.