Healthcare is rapidly changing, and the way we approach preventative medicine is changing along with it. Google’s X division recently announced plans for an experimental wristband equipped with numerous sensors capable of detecting your pulse, skin temperature and heart rhythm while also measuring external environmental factors such as light exposure and noise. The Apple Watch is lacking most of these capabilities.
“Why is this such a big deal?” you might ask.
The answer is simple. Most smartwatches on the market endeavor to help you take care of your own body. They help you keep track of a few vitals while ignoring the rest. This is because the more sensors there are in a smart watch, the more regulatory oversight and FDA approval is required. Designers want to skip that step, Apple included.
The team behind the Google Wristband envisions the future
The Google wristband knowingly adds the extra tech, but they also have something different in mind. Google X’s Andrew Conrad supplied more information to Bloomberg: “I envision a day, in 20 or 30 years, where physicians give it to all patients. Prevention means all the time.”
In other words, Google would like to place its tech in the hands of doctors. Consider the implications: in a year or two, your family physician could keep track of your vitals from the office, calling you in only when he notices something wrong. All you would need to do is wear the Google wristband 24/7. This would revolutionize the way we fight and prevent innumerable diseases and ailments.
But only if we use it. Whether or not people would be on board with that kind of personal monitoring remains to be seen–especially when not everyone thinks these devices are aesthetically pleasing. Most were quick to put their two cents in:
— David Pierce (@piercedavid) June 23, 2015
If you’re attached to your Apple Watch, worry not!
The experimental Google wristband obviously isn’t for the consumer, and so you don’t need to worry about their business encroaching on your favorite smartwatch alternatives anytime soon. It might also interest you to know that smartphones and smartwatches might be on track to get a crazy new technology: self-healing plastic.
According to an exclusive CNN interview, Ludwik Liebler, a Parisian materials scientist working out of the ESCPI Institute recently discovered a new family of plastics by combining others.
Right now it works by using heat or a chemical catalyst to reform the plastic, but Liebler believes the future might hold exciting new possibilities–like plastic that automatically identifies defects and repairs them.
Would you wear the Google wristband if it could keep you healthier longer? Would you be more likely to purchase an expensive smartphone or smartwatch if you knew they could repair damage without sending it in to the shop?