Alphabet has their hands in just about every industry in some way or another these days, including the Internet of Things and the medical industry. With expertise in both, it only makes sense that they would initiate a venture to combine them, especially given the already prominent role of IoT in medicine and the potential that lies therein. The company’s vision is to provide the kind of health monitoring that would allow for catching issues early and helping users self-monitor and administer applicable health plans like diets. Particularly, according to a new patent, Google is looking to bring medical IoT devices into users’ homes to monitor them in ways that are both unique and noninvasive.
The devices shown off as ideas in the patent filing occupy a very wide range of household items, popping up in every room of the home. For example, a smart bathtub is able to emit sonic waves to conduct tests and report back things like your heart rate and overall health, while a smart bathroom mirror looks for any changes to your skin pigment and reports issues like a user becoming excessively pale or experiencing jaundice. Ideas for a toilet and bed are also presented; presumably, they would measure data like pulse, blood pressure, oxygen levels, temperature and other factors through direct skin contact.
Wandering away from private spaces, monitoring apparatus built into things like televisions and sofas also look to be on offer in the patent filing, along with notes on exactly how Google plans to use these devices to spot anomalies by comparing data from read to read, and to spot patterns and determine normal readings for a user in much the same way. Other devices, like your laptop, tablet and even Google Glass, are shown in the patent. These devices would mostly be able to get in on the fun by being a central on-site processing hub for the IoT monitoring equipment, allowing a user to check over readings, as well as allowing for the data to be sent over to health care professionals as needed, and for a history to be kept that allows monitoring over a long period of time.