Alphabet’s Sidewalk Labs Launches New Startup Focused on Urban Health

Google’s Sidewalk, a subsidiary of Alphabet, is launching Cityblock, a startup focused on creating a sustainable model of urban health. The startup plans to address health disparity in lower-income urban areas by providing preventive medicine and access to mental health and social service resources.

The program is launching with a membership model for Medicaid patients. The model contracts with health plans and outpatient clinics to provide its members with access to online and in-person health benefits. Cityblock intends to build a technology platform that integrates primary care, behavioral health, and social services.

The platform, known as Common, will provide two-way communication between patients and medical providers via apps. It will also feature telehealth and chat features, and a record of care with action plans.

In-person care will be provided in Neighborhood Health Hubs, physical meeting spaces which will bring together health and community assets.

Treatment for mental health will be an important part of the care system. Cityblock plans on “breaking down the silos in treating and addressing” mental health issues as they relate to general health.

Cityblock plans to open the first Neighborhood Health Hub in New York City in 2018.

On December 4, Rock Health named Cityblock as the best new startup in digital health this year.

Rock Health, a McKesson Ventures portfolio company, funds and supports startups building the next generation of technologies transforming health care.

Read more about Cityblock’s initiative in this MobiHealthNews article.