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Alphabet’s Verily makes smartwatch for health research

This handout photograph obtained April 14, 2017 courtesy of Verily Life Sciences in San Francisco shows Verily’s wrist-worn “Study Watch” designed to gather complex health data in clinical studies. Study Watch is meant for research and will be put to work in several studies including a multi-year study to identify patterns in the progression of Parkinson’s disease, according to a blog post by Verily team members David He, Tushar Parlikar, and Harry Xiao. VERILY LIFE SCIENCES COPYRIGHT 2017 / AFP

Alphabet’s life sciences unit Verily on Friday unveiled a wrist-worn “Study Watch” designed to gather complex health data in clinical studies.

Study Watch is meant for research and will be put to work in several studies including a multi-year study to identify patterns in the progression of Parkinson’s disease, according to a blog post by Verily team members David He, Tushar Parlikar, and Harry Xiao.

“The ability to passively capture health data is critical to the success of continuous care platforms and clinical research,” the post from the Google sister company said.

“Study Watch represents another step in our targeted efforts to create new tools for unobtrusive bio-sensing.”

Study Watch appeared styled after a traditional wrist-worn timepiece , and boasted features including long battery life and encryption for stored data.

“Multiple physiological and environmental sensors are designed to measure relevant signals for studies spanning cardiovascular, movement disorders, and other areas,” the blog post said.

“Examples include electrocardiogram, heart rate, electrodermal activity, and inertial movements.”

Verily was part of the Google X lab known for big vision projects such as self-driving cars and internet-service delivered by high-altitude balloons, but was spun into an independent unit at Google-parent Alphabet in mid 2015.

The debut of Study Watch comes as Apple continues to enhance capabilities of its smartwatch along with supporting Health Kit and Research Kit software for use by researchers and care providers as well as individuals interested in fitness.

A secret team is working on enhancing Apple Watch sensors to monitor the blood sugar levels of wearers in what would be considered a diabetes breakthrough, according to a report this week by CNBC news.


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