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Google’s new wearable can catch diseases before you get sick

by Jacob Kleinman | June 23, 2015June 23, 2015 4:00 pm PST

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Google’s plans for Android Wear are still picking up speed, but it’s also developed an entirely different kind of wearable in secret. A new device created by the company’s Google X division puts the focus on tracking your health.

The new wristband is capable of reading your pulse (including the rhythm) and skin temperature continuously. It also measures light exposure and noise level. Google notes that it’s much more powerful than any of the health tracking capabilities offered by Android Wear. It’s also capable of transmitting that data straight to your doctor in real time.

The design isn’t particularly refined, though that’s not really the point. It’s unclear what kind of software Google plans to use, though apparently it’s meant to be easy to navigate.

The device is intended mainly for clinical trials and drug tests for now. Eventually it could let doctors monitor a patient at all times without keeping them in the hospital. Further down the line, anyone could wear one to catch and prevent diseases before they show any symptoms.

“I envision a day, in 20 or 30 years, where physicians give it to all patients,” Andy Conrad, who leads the life sciences team within Google X, told Bloomberg. “Prevention means all the time.”

To start, Google is planning to work with researchers and pharmaceutical firms over the summer to test the device and win legal clearance in the U.S. and Europe. After that it will be used in official trials and tests, though general availability could still be years away.

Bloomberg

Jacob Kleinman

Jacob Kleinman has been working as a journalist online and in print since he arrived at Wesleyan University in 2007. After graduating, he took a...

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