Google Ventures: Big-Time Consumer Health Is Still a Dream

Google Ventures’ general partner, Dr. Krishna Yeshwant, wants something “as big as Google” in consumer health. But it’s not there yet.

Yeshwant, speaking to , said there are two main issues keeping areas like consumer wearables and healthcare mobile apps on the back-burner. First, the adoption isn’t there. The second factor is a dual issue: consumer health companies don’t pass the clinical smell test and they don’t have the team to move beyond it.

One of the problems is that most consumer health companies aren’t going through a regulatory approval process with the FDA, which would make them more valuable from a clinical perspective. But the person who is experienced with regulation and the person who knows how to build a successful consumer experience aren’t typically at the same startup.

What Yeshwant said was distinct. But it’s also part of a growing consensus from  retail-minded healthcare investors: Healthcare mobile apps and other consumer tools just can’t deliver enough of a reason for consumers to use their products (Mayo Clinic Ventures’ Timmeko Moore Love is among those that share that view).

Yeshwant’s point about team was also notable in part because he thinks the diverse mix of personnel and opportunities at Google Ventures sets it apart.

“We can take a life sciences entrepreneur and expose them to the latest machine-learning technology, and help them tie that in to their business, and vice versa,” he told KQED.

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Google Ventures: Big-time consumer health is still a dream




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