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Google’s new accelerator focusses on AI health startups

The new Google venture is called the Launchpad Studio and it was unveiled in November 2017. The aim is to provide a new health-orientated artificial intelligence access path to Google experts for start-up companies to take advantage of.

The service, PharmaPhorum reports, also aims to assist new ventures via product validation and also to give them feedback with their new projects and to help to nurture them into commercially viable healthcare solutions. As part of this process, Google will give eligible new ventures $50,000 in funding plus full access to business focused Google products, such as Google Cloud.

Malika Cantor, a program manager with Launchpad, told TechCrunch: “It’s our hypothesis that there’s a lot of learning to be extracted by looking at an industry and all the ways machine learning can be applied across that industry. We have the startups draft a project proposal that addresses a sizable machine learning problem they’re approaching in the next 6 months. We focus on solving the technical challenges.”

Some names of the fist cohort of companies that Google is working with have been revealed. This list includes Augmedix, which is a company that aims to foster Google Glass related applications. Augmedix has constructed artificial intelligence based medical scribing software. The aim here is to reduce the administrative burden on medics, to allow physicians to more easily produce notes during patient consultations.
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A second example is BrainQ. This is an artificial intelligence and machine learning tool, developed to help understand brain signaling in people who have neurological disorders that arise through incidents like stroke and brain injury.

Another company benefiting from the Google service is ByteFlies. This Belgium based start-up is a wearable technology firm. The company has designed a device called Sensor Dot, which records vital signs such as heart rate or respiration, plus activities like body. The aim of the Sensor Dot is to give software developers the ability to collect and analyze healthcare monitoring data.

A last example is the start-up Cytovale, which is based in California. This company has the aim of searching for so-termed ‘mechanical biomarkers’ in cells. This is achieved by the application of screening technology. One application will be an attempt to improve the detection of blood diseases like sepsis.

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The mission statement on the Launchpad Studio accelerator website runs: “Launchpad Studio is a fully tailored product development acceleration program that matches top machine learning startups and experts from Silicon Valey with the best of Google – its people, network, and advanced technologies – to help accelerate applied machine learning and AI innovation.”

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