Google announced that its engineering team under the Google X project is designing a medical wearable device for health monitoring.
More specifically, the Google watch-like device is looking at taking accurate measurements of heart rates in patients with cardiac disease. While performing minute to minute electrocardiograms, the wearable would also be able to measure the stress factors in the surrounding environment, thus spawning an array of accurate statistics on an individual’s health.
Bloomberg announced on Tuesday that Google does not intend this wearable for mass sales. Its usage would be restricted to prescription based cases and to the scientific community solely for research purposes.
Another aspect that Google keeps on its horizon is that after this wearable investigational device is released, further studies could help improve it to study other diseases.
Andy Conrad, Google life sciences team leader, stated that:
“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”.
For instance, by integrating activity sensors in the wristband of the wearable, the gadget could detect the changes occurring in a person’s mobility. That would be a great aid in studying Parkinson’s disease and its manifestations.
Google is taking a swing at medical device manufacturing against the background of other tech giants offering devices which are not too performant with their tasks, or not sufficiently accurate.
While it is true that they are not intended for medical purposes, rather being consumer fitness trackers, many use them as accurate trackers of their overall condition.
Apple Watch for instance uses infrared light system to measure heartbeat timing, or the pulse via the changes in blood flow. Medically, this piece of information does little to help patients who suffered a heart attack.
Another drawback of consumer targeted wearable is that they are not tweaked for the interference of bones, muscles or tendons found in the wrist. Thus, the accuracy of biometrics registered by these devices drops severely.
Google aims to get beyond these limitations and design the new wearable device that will enable the medical community to accurately track the health of their patients.
Google X Laboratories are not the first attempt to join the ranks of medical tech developers. In 2014, Google announced that it will release contact lens which can accurately monitor the glucose level of diabetes patients by sampling their tears.
This year the life sciences team also announced that it intends to join multiple sclerosis research.
The wearable device able to track heart rates will undoubtedly be a hit once it is released to the medical community and its patients.
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