Big Tech searches for a way back into healthcare

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Robert Wachter, a former member of Google's healthcare advisory board, remembers when the company first set its sights on the healthcare industry more than a decade ago. "They said: We're Google, we'll solve it," says Wachter, head of medicine at University of California, San Francisco. At the time, Google was trying to create individual accounts where users could store their electronic medical records. So when then-chief executive Eric Schmidt later abandoned the effort with an admission that Google had underestimated the challenge, it came as a shock. "They conquer industry after industry, it doesn't seem like this would be very different," Wachter says.

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