Google has been partnering with the Mayo Clinic, the top hospital in the United States, for years now. But today, the company announced a move to make that partnership a little more serious: Google will open an office in Rochester MN this year, home of the Mayo Clinic's headquarters. Google already has dozens of offices in the US, but this will be the first in Minneapolis. The company worked with the Mayo Clinic to find spaces that let them collaborate easily with Mayo Clinic staff as they look to "transform patient care."
Announcing a new office during the COVID-19 pandemic might seem a bit unusual at first glance, given that companies and employees alike are embracing remote work more than ever before. Google acknowledges that they'll be waiting to fully open until later this year and will wait until state and local COVID-19 guidelines say it's safe to do so.
It's not clear specifically what Google will be collaborating on with the Mayo Clinic at this new location, but it's likely just a means to work together more efficiently on the types of projects they've already carried out. In the last 18 months or so, Google says it move the Mayo Clinic's data to its cloud and worked on projects like using AI to help doctors develop radiotherapy plans. The Mayo Clinic also worked with Google on its response to COVID-19, though exactly what the two organizations did together wasn't made clear.
While a new office isn't the most exciting news to hear from Google, it does show that the company is continuing to take healthcare seriously, something that it has in common with some of the other tech giants. Apple has made health a focus with its Apple Watch hardware, and Amazon has worked on a variety of healthcare initiatives and partnerships in recent years, not all successful.