Verily sets its sights on next big challenge: the opioid crisis
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Verily sets its sights on next big challenge: the opioid crisis

Alphabet Inc., famously the company formerly known as Google (and parent to the ‘new’ Google), has found a new challenge to overcome: the US’s deeply concerning opioid crisis. The Alphabet arm that’s taking up this task is none other than Verily, an experimental healthcare unit dedicated to solving medical problems with Big Tech. And this medical problem is a particularly serious one: every day in the US, more than 130 people die from opioid-related overdoses.

Alphabet’s share price has appreciated by 8% so far this year

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Source: Yahoo Finance

On Tuesday, Verily said it would help to launch an independent non-profit called OneFifteen, which plans to set up an addiction-treatment centre in Dayton that includes housing and behavioural health treatment facilities. Verily will be an integral part of the treatment on offer, leveraging the power of Big Data to the curing of addiction. The goal is to use analytics to piece together insights from operational and clinical data, which will then be fed back in to the treatment to improve it. Other partners in the project include Samaritan Behavioural Health Inc. and Kettering Health Network.

In a blog post, the company said: “A team of Verily clinicians, engineers, and health systems specialists undertook an assessment of the opioid crisis and uncovered a complex set of challenges that touched nearly every facet of our society. We recognized that a common thread through these challenges was the absence of high-quality information to guide individuals, communities, and legislators to adopt treatment models that they are confident will support prevention and recovery.’’

Verily has had no shortage of interesting projects in the past, which include eradicating mosquito-born disease and working to battle aging. But this is undoubtedly its most ambitious – and important – challenge to date. The centre is expected to open in Spring, and a full healthcare campus should be completed in 2020.

Disclosure
Dominion holds Alphabet, the parent company of Verily, in its Global Trends Managed Fund.


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