Connected home device maker Nest, which was bought by Google (NSDQ:GOOG) in 2014 for $3.2 billion, acquired smartphone-based health monitoring system developer Senosis Health last year in a hush-hush deal that may mark the business’ first steps towards an entry into the healthcare market, according to a GeekWire report.
When the deal was initially reported last year, only Google was identified as having picked up the University of Washington spin-out focused on health monitoring.
In its recent report, GeekWire said that the secrecy last year was intentional, and that Google’s Nest was the actual buyer in the deal.
Google and Nest “went to great lengths to keep its involvement secret, telling personnel not to utter the company’s name and barring UW from immediately publicizing the sale,” according to the report.
“It turns out Nest is much more secretive than the rest of Google or Alphabet. They seem to be particularly sensitive in this situation since they don’t want people to know they are getting into a whole new line of business, digital health, until they are ready to publicly announce,” Senosis co-founder Shwetak Patel wrote in a June 2017 email to UW CoMotion innovation hub assistant VP of innovation development Fiona Wills, GeekWire reports.
Nest has not yet publicly commented on the sale, nor announced any official plans to enter the digital healthcare market.