Google is working on a medical-grade fitness tracking wristband, according to Bloomberg. Not only will it measure vitals like heart rate, pulse, and skin temperature on a "minute-by-minute" basis, it will also measure external information like sun exposure.
The wristband is being developed by Google X, the secretive lab behind projects like Glass, Loon, and the company's self-driving cars. It won't be available to general consumers. Instead, Google intends for the device to be used in clinical trials and prescribed to medical patients.
The new watch is not for sale
By doing that, Google will help doctors tackle the problem of reliably tracking the health of their patients away from the hospital. Consumer-grade fitness trackers don't offer the medical-grade accuracy, and patients can be unreliable when it comes to reporting their own vitals. Apple is trying to solve a similar problem with ResearchKit, its own software platform for clinical trials, with the difference being that ResearchKit apps are available to anyone with an iPhone.
Google X already has a number of medical projects in the works. In 2014 the company announced that the lab was working on a contact lens that can monitor diabetes patients' glucose levels. And, this past January, we learned it was partnering with drug makers to research multiple sclerosis.