Google Hires Former FDA Digital Health Leader

Bakul Patel

 Bakul Patel


Bakul Patel shared he will "build a unified digital health and regulatory strategy."

Google has hired a former Food and Drug Administration leader as its new senior director of global digital health strategy. Bakul Patel spent more than a decade at the FDA, most recently as the director of digital health for international design and innovation.

"I am looking forward to learning from the teams in health across Google and Alphabet and helping build a unified digital health and regulatory strategy," he shared in a Linkedin post-Monday announcing the move.

Like all big tech companies, Google has made further strides in health and healthcare in recent years, with mixed results. His ambitions range from mining big data for algorithms to developing disease detection tools and pumping out wearable devices packed with health features. But its strategy has changed: the company dissolved the Google Health division in August 2021 and distributed its employees in various initiatives. The head of the division left the firm.

Patel is just the latest to enter the new revolving door between Alphabet and federal regulatory agencies. The current FDA commissioner, Robert Califf, was a senior adviser to Alphabet. And Google's chief health officer, Karen DeSalvo, is the former director of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology.

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