US technology giant Google life sciences group has unveiled an experimental health-tracking wristband for use in clinical trials and drug tests by researchers and physicians to derive minute-by-minute data on patients.
Developed by Google X research division, the device can be used to measure pulse, heart rhythm and skin temperature of the patients. It can also indicate information about the environment including light exposure and noise levels.
Google life sciences team Andy Conrad was quoted by Bloomberg as saying: "Our intended use is for this to become a medical device that’s prescribed to patients or used for clinical trials."
The firm does not intend to market the product as a consumer device and is likely to start research trials for it this summer.
It is equipped with sensors which can incessantly 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 release from hospital. It might also be useful for monitoring individuals suffering from Parkinson’s disease to check their health changes.
Google intends to work with academic researchers and drugmakers to test the wristband’s accuracy, following which it will seek regulatory clearance for its usage in the US and Europe.
The firm will also look for a partner for manufacturing the health-monitoring product on a large scale.
Image: Area of Googleplex between buildings 40 and 43. Photo: courtesy of Jijithecat.