Verily: Eerie job cuts

This wasn’t expected. I haven’t heard much from them in recent times, because they usually pump the hype gravy train if they make any “breakthrough”. This comes at the heels of reorganisation for Amazon’s forays in the healthcare delivery market, and trying to “deliver” it on the lines of “Prime”. I call it the “primification” of everything.

Alphabet Unit Verily to Trim More Than 200 Jobs – WSJ

Verily Life Sciences, a healthcare unit ofAlphabet Inc., is laying off more than 200 employees as part of a broader reorganization, the first major staff reductions to hit Google’s parent following a wave of layoffs at other technology companies. The cuts will affect about 15% of roles at Verily, which will discontinue work on a medical software program called Verily Value Suite and several early-stage products, CEO Stephen Gillett said in an email to employees Wednesday. Verily has more than 1,600 employees.

Healthcare reorganisation requires breaking the age-old incentives (e.g. insurance pay outs), which is difficult to penetrate unless there is a better alternative. Peer review, for example, in academic publishing, is the same chicken-egg problem. There is no alternative, because scientific publishing is ingrained in the “psyche” that reflects a “academic mind-set”. It isn’t. It is only a metric that’s “gamified”. Likewise, healthcare delivery isn’t putting two people in front of each other. It is an entire experience. You can’t industrialise it or peer it through the lens of a “logistics model”.

That’s what Verily does:

Verily oversees a portfolio of healthcare projects largely focused on applying data and technology to patient treatments, including a virtual diabetes clinic and an online program for connecting research participants to clinical studies.

I guess a breakthrough in healthcare will have to wait. Personally, the job cuts deeply saddens me because it impacts the affected individuals. There might be an insurance policy for C-suite executives to stay mobile, but it shouldn’t come at the cost of individuals putting in labour for the company.

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