Google Ventures investor: Entrepreneurs have to ask 'why?' when creating digital health tools

Google Ventures aims to take life science entrepreneurs and introduce them to technology that they can use at their businesses, according to Krishna Yeshwant, M.D., an investor at GV who specializes in health and life sciences.

However, when it comes to consumer health and patient use of new healthcare tools, Yeshwant, in an interview with KQED Science, says the main question that has to be answered is "why?" 

"Why would a patient open up this app? Where's the value?" he says.

More health-related apps than ever are hitting the market, but despite so many options out there--a whopping 165,000--nearly half of all downloads are generated by just 36 apps, according to a recent report by the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics.

Yeshwant adds that many health IT companies aren't working with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Going through the regulatory approval process would make health tools "more valuable from a clinical perspective," he says.

Right now, adoption of consumer health tools remains low, he says, and there need to be more tools that can help with prevention, instead of just assisting the already ill.

Google has a lot of separate entities looking making their mark in the healthcare industry. The tech company's different healthcare and life sciences arms were impacted by the creation of holding company Alphabet in August.  

For example, Alphabet's life sciences team, which has been in charge of development of a smart contact lens, among other innovations, is splitting from Google's X lab to become its own entity under the new holding company.

To learn more:
- here's the interview