Google X developing health-tracking wristband

Google X medical wristbandGoogle could soon be jumping into the wearable hardware business. Its experimental research Google X lab, the same that came up with Google Glass and self-driving cars, is now working on a a health-tracking wristband that can collect minute-by-minute medical data and pass it to physicians and researchers. It can measure pulse, heart rhythm and skin temperature as well as environmental information like light exposure and noise levels.

But unlike Android Wear smartwatches, the new Google X health band will not be aimed at consumers and will not be sold at local electronic retailers. The device is instead geared at the medical field and could be prescribed to patients by doctors or used in clinical trials. Used as a medical grade device, it would require FDA approval prior to launching.

“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,” Andy Conrad, head of Google’s life sciences team, explained in a statement.

The strength of the Google X medical wristband over current technology is that it provides a continuous feed of patients’ vital signs without being too complicated for a patient to use over a lengthier period of time.

Conrad sees a bright future for devices like Google’s wristband. It could soon be used by healthy people to catch early signs of disease. “I envision a day, in 20 or 30 years, where physicians give it to all patients. Prevention means all the time,” he explained.

Google X is also behind contact lenses that can monitor the glucose levels of diabetic patients and it is also researching multiple sclerosis.

The Google X medical wristband is still in the experimental phase. There is no word on when it could launch.

Source : Bloomberg