Google unveils smart watch for clinical trials

Google wearable

Google unveiled a smart watch of its own, Bloomberg is reporting. It’s not meant to compete with hardware its Android Wear partners are making though — the device which was developed by the company’s Google X division is intended for use by people participating in clinical trials and new drug tests. In that sense, it can measure the wearer’s pulse, heartbeat rhythm, skin temperature, light exposure and noise levels. These data sets will be collected throughout the day, both when trial participants are in the lab or at home.

Testing for the medical band is slated to begin this summer, according to Google, which is going to pursue regulatory approval for its use in medical contexts in partnership with academic institutions and drug companies.

This, of course, is not Google’s first foray in mHealth; the company has included a number of health-based features in its Android Wear and Google Fit platforms. The search giant also has its own wearable, Google Glass, which has been extensively tested in various clinical settings. This, however, is Google’s first smart watch, and even though it won’t be marketed to consumers, it shows us where Google is looking at for future growth [healthcare].

For what it matters, Apple has its own platform for clinical trials, ResearchKit, which works both with the iPhone and Apple Watch.