Jan 20, 2022 - Axios Events

Google exec: Tech could become a "vehicle for democratizing" health access

A split screen of an axios reporter and the google health executive.

Google chief health officer Dr. Karen DeSalvo. Photo: Axios screenshot

Digital, tech and analytics should become a "vehicle for democratizing access to health," said Dr. Karen DeSalvo, chief health officer at Google, at an Axios virtual event on Thursday.

Why it matters: Health care had typically moved at a cautious pace when it came to adopting new technology, Axios' Tina Reed writes. However, the onslaught of the coronavirus pandemic spurred a digital transformation.

  • More than 60% of doctors said the pandemic forced technology upgrades that normally would have taken years, according to a poll provided exclusively to Axios.
  • DeSalvo expressed that health technology can create a "broader suite of tools" that can provide personalized insights for users, adding that it should not be seen as a competitor or a disrupter.

What they're saying: Tech "is designed to partner with the ecosystem so that we can bring our tools to bear, to make health more of a reality for everyone, to democratize access to health," DeSalvo said.

  • "I think for me personally, it's seeing that digital and tech and analytics become a vehicle for democratizing access to health for everybody around the world."
  • "I would see us as being that quiet but strong and trusted partner for everybody who's on the front lines doing that work," she continued.

Watch the full event here.

Go deeper: The technology upside from the coronavirus pandemic

Go deeper