Friday, 3 July 2015

Google takes deeper dive into med tech with health-tracking wristband

Google has not wasted any time since launching its life sciences division group a couple of years ago, sinking funds into med tech projects to expand its reach in wearable health. Now the company is charging full speed ahead with one of its initiatives, developing a health-tracking wristband device with its eye on FDA approval.
The product, which is being developed through the company's Google X research unit, measures pulse, heart rhythm and skin temperature and gauges environmental information like light exposure and noise levels, giving doctors and researchers minute-by-minute data on patients' physical states, Bloomberg reports. Google already offers health-monitoring smartwatch features through its Android Wear software platform, but its health-tracking wristband will not be marketed as a consumer device, Andy Conrad, head of the company's life sciences team, told the news outlet. "Our intended use is for this to become a medical device that's prescribed to patients or used for clinical trials," he said.

Next up, Google plans to team up with academic researchers and drugmakers to test the wristband, kicking off its first trials over the summer, company spokeswoman Jacquelyn Miller told Bloomberg. And the company could also be in the market for a manufacturing partner, Conrad said, echoing last year's deal with Novartis ($NVS) to license and commercialize its smart contact lenses for diabetes.

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