What if Google Does It?

I’m a nerd. Instead of watching Hollywood movies, I watched the entirety of Google’s 3.5 hour keynote from their recent developer conference, Google IO. I really appreciate watching and learning from technology companies operating at spectacular scale. They put on quite a show (at least for geeks like me).

One hour and eighteen minutes (the link should take you the right spot in the video) into the keynote, Google executives unveiled new discovery and curation features for the Android Play Store for apps for teachers to use in class. Google hired a team of educational content experts to review and curate in-class apps. Google will release certified apps to a special section of the Android Play Store that educational IT staff and teachers can peruse.

Google will also provide tools for educational IT admins to centrally manage and distribute those apps throughout the school per teacher, class, grade level, and more. Google is dramatically simplifying IT management in large bureaucratic organizations that can’t attract top IT talent. This is a godsend for teachers who have wanted to deploy apps in class, but who haven’t had the necessary IT support.

This is a brilliant concept. In highly regulated, slow changing industries such as healthcare and education, the biggest barriers to adopting and integrating third-party apps into the core workflows are fear of inaccurate information and IT distribution and management challenges. Google is doing a tremendous favor for the educational system. This move will materially improve the uptake of in-class apps.

Obviously, this begs the question, "Why doesn’t Google do the same thing for healthcare?” Happtique and Healthtap recognized this need some time ago. They’re curating apps and providing IT infrastructure services to help manage and distribute those apps to employees along different job functions, roles, locations, etc.

Unfortunately, Happtique just hired a new CEO, which is never a good sign at a pre-revenue, pre-scale startup. Healthtap raised $24M to pursue other markets, but recently moved into the app curation and distribution space. We’ll see how well they fare. It’s too early to render any final judgment.

If you know anyone at Google – particularly anyone on the Android Play Store team – who can pull some strings, can you please refer them to this blog post? I’m sure that with just a little spark, Google can do for healthcare what they’re already doing for education.

Sorry Happtique and Healthtap, it looks like you’re going to be a classic case of "What if Google does it?"

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Kyle Samani is a technology enthusiast who is passionate about healthcare and technology startups.

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