- Google's relatively new life sciences venture, Google X, has unveiled a new wearable device which can measure pulse, heart rhythm, skin temperature, and environmental information.
- The device is intended to be used in clinical trials to track patients' vital signs outside the lab.
- Google is working with academic rsearchers and biopharma companies to test the watch, with the goal of moving into clinical trials this summer. Ultimately, the goal is to get FDA clearance in both the U.S. and Europe.
Andy Conrad, who heads up the life sciences team at Googe, has visions of some version of Google's health-tracking wearable device becoming a normal standard to preventive care in 20 to 30 years. And while the current version of the wristband health-tracking device is still being beta-tested and in the earliest stages of development, that vision is not too far off.
According to IDTechEx, which tracks technological trends, the wearable device market is expected to grow to $70 billion by 2020. Already, Google is offering health-monitoring smartwatch features in its Android Wear software platform for consumers, through companies sich as LG Electronics, Inc. In addition, the Apple Wach has some built-in health features.
The trend towards a validated clinical research application for wearable devices is not hard to understand, given the need for large-scale data collection and ability to leverage feedback-driven technology. The distance from heart rate monitors to health-tracking wristbands is only a matter of a few years.