For the past few years Google X research division has been working on health-monitoring devices with projects including diabetes monitoring contact lenses and using nanoparticles to track blood cells in cancer patients. Now, Google unveils a Health Tracking Wristband so that they can collect the data from it that can be used by the doctors and researchers to detect early signs of diseases.
Andy Conrad, head of the life and science team at Google said “Our intended use is for this to become a medical device that’s prescribed to patients or used for clinical trials.” The Health Tracking Wristband won’t be promoted as a consumer device, but will instead be prescribed through doctors. Conrad also said that there are already some smartwatches having health-monitoring features, but most of them are not rigorous enough to be used by researchers.
Conrad added “Our hope is that this technology could unlock a new class of continuous, medical-grade information that makes it easier to understand these patterns and manage serious health conditions.”
The Health Tracking Wristband, developed by Google X research division, can monitor the heart rhythm, pulse rate, skin temperature and also environmental information like noise levels and light exposure. The data collected by the device would be continuous; an attribute Google strongly believes will allow the doctors and researchers to get a better view of a patient’s health and can also be used by healthy folks to help them detect early signs of diseases.
Google is currently attempting to receive regulatory clearance to use the health monitoring wristband in the United States and Europe. Jacquelyn Miller, a Google spokeswoman said that the trials to test the band will start over the summer and if the health tracking wristband proves helpful to caregivers, Google will search for partners who will build the device.