Google is set to start research trials of a new wrist-worn medical device that will provide physicians with real-time data on patients.
Developed by the company’s research division, Google X, the new health tracking wristband can monitor heart rate, heart rhythm, skin temperature, as well as other useful environmental data such as light exposure and noise levels, reported Bloomberg.
Google Life Sciences team head Andy Conrad said the company does not intend to market the product as a consumer device.
Conrad said: "Our intended use is for this to become a medical device that’s prescribed to patients or used for clinical trials."
Equipped with sensors that can produce an electrocardiogram (ECG) measuring the strength and pattern of the wearer’s heartbeat, the device is expected to be used for tracking cardiac signals in heart attack patients after their discharge from hospital.
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In addition, the system might be useful to monitor individuals suffering from Parkinson’s disease to check their health changes if they remain indoors for most of the time.
Conrad was quoted by The Financial Times saying: "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."
Google intends to collaborate with academic researchers and drugmakers to evaluate the wristband’s accuracy, and subsequently seek regulatory clearance for its usage in the US and Europe.
The firm also plans to look for a partner to manufacture the health-monitoring product on a large scale.