Google wristband could give doctors constant stream of patient data

The device is designed for use in medical settings and won't be geared toward consumers looking to track fitness activities

Google has developed a medical-grade wearable device that can stream patient data like pulse and heart rate to doctors.

Google has developed a medical-grade wearable device that can stream patient data like pulse and heart rate to doctors.

Google has created a health-tracking wristband that could give health care professionals real-time information on the well-being of their patients.

The wearable can measure a patient's pulse, activity level, skin temperature and heartbeat rhythm. It's also able to monitor light levels and light exposure. This data could be used to learn more about patient behavior outside of the hospital and better treat ailments, Google said Tuesday. For example, data showing that a person isn't moving around frequently or spending limited time outdoors could indicate illness, Google said.

Don't expect to use the device to track sleeping patterns or count steps. Unlike consumer-focused health and fitness wearables and smartwatches, Google's "cardiac and activity sensor" device is designed for medical settings, the company said.

Health-monitoring features are available in smartwatches running Android Wear as well as the Apple Watch and fitness trackers from companies like Fitbit. However, doctors are reluctant to incorporate these wearables into patient care because the devices' sensors haven't been validated for accuracy. In order to accept wearables, physicians need devices with medical-grade sensors that take precise readings, critics have said.

The search giant's life sciences group, which is part of the Google X research division, developed the wristband, which resembles a smartwatch with a square display with rounded corners attached to a wristband. Google didn't immediately reply to questions about the wearable's battery life and if it runs Android Wear.

Google is working with several research partners on medical studies to determine if receiving a constant stream of data can help doctors better treat disease, said Jacquelyn Miller, a Google spokeswomen. The company didn't provide details on what conditions it is studying.

Gauging the device's usefulness in clinical settings could take several years, Miller said. If the wearable proves beneficial to care givers, Google will look for partners to build the device, she said.

Google's other life sciences projects include a contact lens that can monitor a person's blood sugar levels. The company is also contributing its sensor technology and imaging technology to a robot-assisted surgical platform.

Fred O'Connor writes about IT careers and health IT for The IDG News Service. Follow Fred on Twitter at @fredjoconnor. Fred's e-mail address is fred_o'connor@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Googleindustry verticalshealth care

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Fred O'Connor

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Ada Chan

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

I highly recommend the Dynabook Portégé® X30L-G notebook for everyday business use, it is a benchmark setting notebook of its generation in the lightweight category.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?