Google Life Sciences strikes Sanofi deal over diabetes tech

The Mountain View and Paris companies are looking at tiny trackers and analytics tools to cut costs for healthcare providers.

Google's Life Sciences division is working with French pharmaceuticals company Sanofi on hardware and software to tackle diabetes.

According to the Paris based firm, the aim of the collaboration is to create products that will get people with type one and two diabetes to better manage their own condition, and so cut healthcare costs.

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The details of what products the pair will be working on are sketchy, however: an announcement from Sanofi says they will develop "new tools that bring together many of the previously siloed pieces of diabetes management and enable new kinds of interventions. This includes health indicators such as blood glucose and haemoglobin A1c levels, patient-reported information, medication regimens and sensor devices".

The companies will also look to increasingly bring analytics to bear on various data sets about a patient's diabetes, to improve care and treatment for the condition.

Diabetes is a condition whereby the level of glucose in a patient's blood rises outside of the normal range, often as a result of the pancreas not producing enough of the hormone insulin. Without sufficient insulin, glucose isn't broken down for energy, and remains in the blood.

Google Life Sciences already has some history with diabetes: in early 2014, the company announced it was working on a 'smart contact lens' that one day could be used to monitor glucose levels in tears and alert the wearer if those levels fell outside of set boundaries.

In March this year, the unit said it had struck a deal with a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson to collaborate on the development of robots that could be used to assist with surgery. It's also working on the use of nanoparticles to detect cancer.

Life Sciences is one of the units that were hived off from Google and moved to its new holding company, Alphabet, last month.

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