Alphabet’s Verily shows off research focused health watch

We wrote earlier about Google’s new sensor loaded health watch. The device is being designed for clinical and observational studies, so has a vastly different set of hardware requirements than your run-of-the-mill smartwatch.

Verily Life Sciences, a division of the multinational conglomerate Alphabet (which is the parent company of Google), has now officially announced the Study Watch. The device looks nothing like the two new smartwatches Google launched in partnership with LG earlier this year.

To start off, the Very Study Watch sports an always on circular e-paper display, similar to the one on Pebble’s smartwatches. As the wearable is meant for studies spanning cardiovascular, movement disorders and other areas, decent battery life is essential. With a week’s worth of power on a single charge and a week of internal storage space, you will not need to take the Study Watch off your wrist too often.

As you would expect, the health watch includes an accelerometer and gyroscope for motion detection, and an optical heart rate sensor in the back. The same sensors which you will find on any self-respecting fitness tracker today. But there is more.

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

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

ECG is the biggest addition to the watch over a normal smartwatch device.

Software engineers, analytics experts, and user experience designers at Verily are working at further platforms, products, and algorithms to analyse health information. The ultimate aim is to be able to identify patterns that could reveal early warning signs, more accurately diagnose disease, or point to a more effective treatment. The Study Watch will be tasked with some important research including the Personalized Parkinson’s Project, and a forthcoming Baseline study, a longitudinal study exploring transitions between health and disease.

Unfortunately, you will not be able to get your hands on the device as its not meant to be a consumer product. It’s just something that will be given out to participants in Verily’s medical studies.

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