Google has unveiled a new health-tracking wristband which it plans to position as a medical device for use by patients or clinical researchers, thus side-stepping the smartwatch-based consumer market.
Outing the project via Bloomberg, the technology giant said its research arm Google X has developed the device to measure biological outputs such as heart rate and temperature, but also other environmental factors such as noise level and light exposure.
Google is hoping that its wearable will be prescribed to patients for vital signs monitoring or used in clinical trials by researchers seeking access to real-time data on their participants’ state of health, Andy Conrad, head of the firm’s life sciences team, told Bloomberg.
Looking further ahead, he said health-monitoring devices could play a key role in stamping out diseases at a much earlier stage in future. “I envision a day, in 20 or 30 years, where physicians give it to all patients…Prevention means all the time”.
The group reportedly plans to seek regulatory approval for its wristband on both sides of the Atlantic, and is currently gearing up to test its accuracy in trials over the summer.