Google Health continues to build out its health team, scooping up Dr. Jacqueline Shreibati, chief medical officer for wearables start-up AliveCor, as its latest hire.
Shreibati will work on the tech giant's clinical team and report to Dr. Karen DeSalvo, Google Health's chief health officer and a former HHS official, a Google spokesperson confirmed. Google added DeSalvo to its health team in October, just weeks after confirming it had tapped former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Robert Califf to lead health strategy.
Shreibati, a board-certified cardiologist, was promoted to AliveCor's chief medical officer this past February, after serving as the company's vice president of medical affairs.
AliveCor develops electrocardiogram gadgets that help monitor customers at risk for atrial fibrillation, a type of irregular heart rhythm. AliveCor in 2017 earned FDA clearance for an EKG accessory for the Apple Watch, putting it in competition with Apple in the wearables space. Apple unveiled an similar app on its Apple Watch to detect atrial fibrillation last year.
Shreibati will work on Google's health research efforts, CNBC reports. It's unclear whether Shreibati will continue to work on wearables in her new role.
Google last month unveiled plans to purchase Fitbit, another competitor to Apple Watch in the wearables and fitness tracking market, for an estimated $2.1 billion. That deal is under investigation by the Justice Department for possible antitrust issues, Reuters reports, and privacy advocates have raised concerns that it would allow Google to amass even more data on consumers.
Google has said it won't use Fitbit health and wellness data for Google ads.
Google's health efforts, which include research on using AI to diagnose diseases and to predict patient outcomes, has drawn recent scrutiny after details emerged about a partnership with Ascension, one of the U.S.'s largest health systems.
The partnership sparked public pushback over data privacy concerns and a federal probe into whether the companies followed federal privacy laws, on account of Ascension reportedly sharing personally identifiable information including names and dates of birth from millions of patients with Google.
Ascension and Google have maintained that their work complies with HIPAA and is meant to improve patient care.