New Upside for Google Stock
With so much attention being paid to the recent U.S. presidential election, it can be easy to forget that day-to-day business never slowed down.
Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), otherwise known as Google, certainly did not grind to a halt. It kept innovating (as it always has) and making inroads into new industries. I wrote months ago that these investments could pay off big-time for Google stock (GOOG), and now those calls are looking prophetic.
To be specific, I was excited about Google entering the healthcare industry. Anything to do with medicine is big business. So, when Google signed a deal with the National Health Service (NHS) in the U.K. to bring new apps to British hospitals and clinics, I was pretty excited.
This may seem strange right now, because Google is so well-known for its Internet services, but the company is reaching a tipping point with apps that can help doctors treat their patients.
Because these products are sold directly to healthcare organisations, my guess is that they’ll form a gigantic new revenue base for Google. Enterprise clients are generally more dependable than end consumers who change their minds every two seconds.
Anyone looking at Google stock should consider this future. When trying to price the company, think of what it could be five years from now. Imagine if tens of thousands of medical professionals were willing to pay Google for help with diagnostics and treatment. The upside could be huge.
But let’s backtrack for a second. How exactly can Google help doctors? Believe it or not, the answer lies in an acquisition that Google made in 2014.
DeepMind Is a Big Deal for Google Stock
Almost three years ago now, Google bought a British company called DeepMind Technologies Limited. For some reason, Google thought this little London-based startup was worth £400.0 million, which translated to more than $500.0 million at the time. (Source: “DeepMind has signed a major new deal with the NHS despite concerns about patient privacy,” Business Insider, November 22, 2016.)
Understandably, most analysts did a double-take when they saw the price tag.
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DeepMind was a company that designed artificial intelligence (AI) software, something which analysts consigned to the realm of science fiction. It wasn’t supposed to be a realistic investment, much less one that was worth half a billion dollars.
But clearly, Google disagreed that AI is a pipe dream. The company understands that it is not something out of the Terminator movies, but just a term that applies to advanced software.
This software can scan images and understand what is in them. It can identify chairs, tables, people, etc. By flipping through tons of chess games, it can learn how to play better than a human. It is capable of learning, and that’s what makes it special.
Google saw the potential of this software years ago. The company understood that DeepMind’s algorithms could be applied to almost any field, starting with healthcare. For instance, by letting the software scan the data of patients with acute kidney injury, it learns what the warning signs are.
These warning signs are too subtle or random for human eyes, but the AI can detect patterns we cannot. According to DeepMind co-founder Mustafa Suleyman, the software could help save up to 1,000 lives a month of those who are affected with acute kidney injury (AKI).
“This is about bringing information to doctors and nurses, much in the way we get news alerts on our phones,” said the Royal Free Trust’s medical director Stephen Powis. “We know that a quarter of deaths from AKI are preventable if clinicians are able to intervene earlier and more effectively.”
So let’s add this up: using DeepMind’s software helps patients and doctors. They’re both on board because it would improve patient outcomes.
Some people are a little concerned about data privacy, but since DeepMind separates the file names from the data, that isn’t a problem. Some folks would complain under any circumstances. They are the Luddites, the village people, the ones holding back progress. By contrast, Google’s software team is helping save lives.
What’s even better, at least from the perspective of Google stock investors, is that healthcare organisations will pay big money for these insights. So, by any standard, the upside potential for Google stock has dramatically increased because of this breakthrough.