Alphabet's Verily introduces smartwatch that exclusively tracks health for studies

This smartwatch isn't for sale but it could help with life-saving research

The watch will run something called a real-time OS (operating system), and it will connect with a Verily Study Hub on a paired mobile device to upload data, a spokesperson told VentureBeat in an email.

Verily indicates the new device is meant to address the need for a "scalable collection of rich and complex datasets across clinical and observational studies". Verily says the Study Watch features a "low power" display, which appears to be an e-ink panel in the photo, though that's never explicitly stated. It will also be used in Verily's "Baseline" study which aims to track 10,000 participants over a five year period and better understand the link between ageing and disease.

With the goal of Study Watch to be an unobtrusive way to collect medical data, battery life is a concern. They've just announced the Study Watch, an investigational smartwatch created to passively collect rich, complex data for use in clinical studies.

According to Verily, one of the features includes, multiple physiological and environmental sensors which are "designed to measure relevant signals for studies spanning cardiovascular, movement disorders, and other areas". The Study Watch does this by using electrocardiography (ECG) and by measuring electrodermal activity and inertial movements. It stores and encrypts data on internal storage big enough for a few weeks of data so syncing often is not required.




The Study Watch will probably be entrusted with some important researches, like gathering vital signs for on-going works like the Personalized Parkinson's Project, which looks into the progression of the disease and then looks for its cure.

Currently, the display is minimal and shows only time and certain instructions; however, the firmware is designed for future extensions, including user interface upgrades, as well as over-the-air updates and new algorithms. The display of the clinical smartwatch doesn't time out, it remains on.

In a blog post, Verily explains how the encrypted data from the watch would be uploaded and processed through the company's cloud service using algorithms and machine learning.

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