The minds at the Google X experimental group are working on a medical grade wristband so that doctors can track their patient’s vital signs.
In addition to taking a patient’s electrocardiogram (or EKG), the health tracker measures vitals such as heart rate, pulse, skin temperature, and environmental conditions such as light exposure and noise levels.
Data taken by the device could be downloaded by doctors so that they can accurately monitor their patient’s health. Google X is currently seeking regulatory clearance for the device so they can start clinical trials in the summer of 2015.
THE GOOGLE MEDICAL WRISTBAND IS NOT AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE
The Google medical wristband will not be available to consumers. Instead, Google intends to have the wristband available only to the medical community so that doctors can prescribe the tracker to their patients or that organizations can research new applications for the device.
Google also wants to study the device and determine if it can predict disease patterns and ultimately treat disease.
“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,” said Andy Conrad, head of the life sciences team at Google.
Conrad also wants the device to help prevent disease. “I envision a day, in 20 or 30 years, where physicians give it to all patients,” said Conrad. “Prevention means all the time.”
MORE ACCURATE THAN CURRENT HEART RATE MONITORS
Current heart rate trackers on the market have been criticized for being inaccurate. Current devices use rapidly flashing infrared light in order to measure blood flow changes which indicate heartbeat. This technology can be inaccurate because tendons, muscles, and bone may interfere with the reading.
The Google medical wristband relies on different technology; the device measure electrical pulses of the heart which the Google X lab hopes to prove more accurate.
GOOGLE X IS CHURNING OUT INNOVATION
The laboratory that is working on the Google medical wristband, Google X , is responsible for a number of recent innovations. This is the same team that unveiled Google Glass, the driverless car, airborne wind power, and drone delivery. The team is also working on a medical device similar to contact lenses that can measure glucose levels.