Sidewalk Labs takes on health care

Sustainability problem:

Good health and well-being is the third Sustainable Development Goal as outlined by the United Nations in 2015. In the United States, life expectancy remains far behind that of other developed countries. Yet, the US is spending way more per capita on medical treatment. In addition, life expectancy in US cities varies dramatically from zip codes to zip code, per median household income. Cleary, we are challenged by inefficiency and access: communities are not receiving the appropriate care they need.


City Block is a start-up within Sidewalk Labs, Google’s parent company’s urban innovation group. It focuses on providing healthcare to low income communities in urban areas, by leveraging technology to better customize care and follow-up with each patient. Through its Neighborhood Health Hubs set up in targeted neighborhoods, City Block plans to provide hyper localized care by trained providers and connect patients and care professionals through their proprietary digital platform, Commons. Hubs will provide treatments for depression, substance-use disorders, anxiety, and others, including serious mental. Healthcare innovation has typically only reached high income communities. By contrast, City is partnering with Medicaid for coverage.


  • Sidewalk Labs
  • Target low-income communities
  • Medicaid
  • Healthcare providers


  • Roll-out of first clinic in NYC in 2018
    • Finalize and test proprietary data management and communication platform
    • Complete development of care offering and processes
    • Hire and train community health workers
    • Partner with Medicaid for coverage
    • Customer acquisition campaign
  • Expansion to other locations in NYC and other US cities



I enjoyed learning about this leather alternative from pineapple leaves. I’m very interested in fashion tech and especially new textile technologies to address animal welfare and environmental issues. This reminds me of Modern Meadow, a technology company growing leather derived from collagen, the same animal protein found in animal skin.


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