Google X wristband wants to track patient vitals for hospitals

24 Jun 2015

Google’s advanced research division, Google X, wants to enter into the lucrative medical market with the development of a wristband that will track a patient’s health for a doctor over time, in what is hoped will be a more comfortable experience for the patient.

Until now, devices used to monitor a patient’s heart rate, blood pressure and temperature have been available, but not exactly comfortable or aesthetic-looking for the patients to wear on a 24-hour basis.

Now, according to Bloomberg, Google X’s team of researchers has said that its discreet device will be worn as a wristband, but will be able to track information such as the patient’s heartbeat, pulse and skin temperature.

It will also be able to take more advanced measurements not on the patient’s body, such as how much light they are exposed to and the decibel levels of the environment they’re in.

Trials to see whether the device is feasible and as accurate as it hopes to be will start from now and the lengthy process of receiving legal clearance to be used in hospitals around the world will then also begin.

Unsurprisingly, the head of Google X’s life sciences team, Andy Conrad, is aiming to have the device one day issued to every patient who enters a hospital.

“I envision a day, in 20 or 30 years, where physicians give it to all patients,” Conrad said in an interview. “Prevention means all the time.”

Sadly, health-conscious people won’t be given access to the Google X wristband as it’s being aimed solely at the medical sector.

Vital signs image via Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic