When Tom Insel, the well-known psychiatrist who ran the National Institute of Mental Health for more than a decade, left for Google in 2015, it caused shock waves in the scientific community. Why join an Internet search company?
But Harvard psychiatry resident John Torous recently published a blog post that sheds some light on the opportunity at Verily, Google's life sciences unit. Torous predicts that Insel will have new resources at Verily to leverage smartphone data to better understand a patient's mental state. That's all well and good, as long as Verily resists the temptation to use Google search data.