The Google X team often creates some of the most outlandish and futuristic technologies that you will ever see. They are the team of people who developed Google Glass, Google’s self-driving cars, and even a contact lens that is capable of reading the user’s glucose levels. Now, the Google X team has a new piece of hardware that is specifically designed to track people’s health, essentially a fitness tracker 2.0.
Like most fitness trackers, this advanced fitness tracker that the Google X team has developed comes in the form of a wristband. The device can measure just about anything that you could think of, pulse, heart rhythm, and skin temperature. Even things such as light exposure and noise levels of the user’s environment can be measured by the device. Most people who are into fitness and tracking it would probably love to have this device, unfortunately, it doesn’t look like that will be possible.
This new fitness tracker, which is honestly more like a health tracker, will be marketed to doctors, drugmakers, and researchers. Andy Conrad, head of the life sciences team at Google told Bloomberg Business why, “Our intended use is for this to become a medical device that’s prescribed to patients or used for clinical trials.” Meaning that the device will not be for the mainstream user, but instead for people taking place in drug trials or at high risk to have a heart attack. Conrad also told Bloomberg Business that he can “envision a day, in 20 or 30 years, where physicians give it to all patients.”
Right now Google is attempting to receive regulatory clearance to use the health tracker in both the United States and Europe. Once that is done Google plans on finding an appropriate manufacturing partner that will allow them to begin testing the device immediately.
It’s great to see the Google X team develop hardware that will ultimately make people’s lives better and maybe even save a few. But, where the device stands now we won’t really get to see it’s full potential. That full potential will be seen down the road like Conrad mentioned when physicians give it to all of their patients.