Smartwatches are pretty straightforward in terms of functionality, where they can record down information about the wearer and present it either on its screen or on an accompanying app. This is ideal for those who are curious about their fitness and want to track their progress while they’re on their run, or at the gym, cycling, and so on.
However Alphabet’s Verily has decided to go in a different direction with the announcement of the Study Watch. This is a wearable that has been designed for medical research purposes and will be a tool used in “unobtrusive biosensing”. Basically instead of features like displaying notifications from your phone, or controlling music playback, or playing games, the Study Watch will be more of a healthcare sort of device.
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. Examples include electrocardiogram (ECG), heart rate, electrodermal activity, and inertial movements.”
One of the proposed uses for the watch is in the Personalized Parkinson’s Project where it will be used to identify patterns in the progression of Parkinson’s disease, which could ultimately lead to more personalized treatments. 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.