Google appoints its first chief health officer

Google officially appointed its first chief health officer as the company takes a deeper dive into the health care industry.

The company confirmed to FOX Business that Dr. Karen DeSalvo will become the first CHO for Google Health, an initiative of the search engine giant that's leveraging technology, such as artificial intelligence, to improve medical care.

Karen DeSalvo (Google)

Google Health is led by Dr. David Feinberg who left the regional healthcare provider Geisinger last year in which he supported a community of more than 3 million patients.

"I believe Google is already a health company. It’s been in the company’s DNA from the start."

- Dr. David Feinberg

DeSalvo will transition into the role, which is akin to a chief medical officer, later this year, according to the company. She previously worked as a professor at the University of Texas at Austin' Dell Medical School, as well as formerly serving as a health official in the Obama administration.

The recent appointment of DeSalvo comes just after American cardiologist and former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Robert M. Califf was hired as the head of strategy and policy for Verily Life Sciences and Google Health, divisions of Google’s parent company Alphabet.

Dr. Robert Califf (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)


However, Google isn't the only company that has become heavily invested in the health care industry.

Three of corporate America’s heaviest hitters — Amazon, Warren Buffett and JPMorgan Chase — sent a shudder through the health industry in 2018 when they announced plans to jointly create a company to provide their employees with high-quality, affordable care.

Following their announcement, Uber said it was driving deeper into health care by offering to take patients in every U.S. market where it operates to their next medical appointment. Company leaders said they were expanding because there’s a need. They cited federal government research that estimates that more than 3 million people do not obtain medical care due to transportation problems.

In July, it was announced that Britain’s health care service was teaming up with Amazon’s digital voice assistant to help answer medical queries with advice from the service’s official website. The British government said the system will help people get quick and accurate health information


The Associated Press contributed to this report.