Alphabet's Verily built a smartwatch to help track symptoms of Parkinson's Disease

The Google Fit app may appear to be the extent of Google's fitness efforts, but one of the brands under its parent company, Alphabet, has bigger plans. Verily announced that it will launch the Study Watch, a wearable designed to perform "unobtrusive biosensing." Essentially, it passively collects health data while you're wearing it.

Verily goes into detail:

The architecture of Study Watch was tailored specifically for high quality signals and seamless usage, with consideration of the needs of observational studies, such as how continuous wear impacts a user's experience. These design and functionality decisions were reinforced by feedback from users, researchers, and clinicians.

Verily Study Watch is designed with these key features:

  • Multiple physiological and environmental sensors 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. 
  • A long battery life of up to one week in order to drive better user compliance during longitudinal studies. 
  • Large internal storage and data compression allow the device to store weeks' worth of raw data, thus relaxing the need to frequently sync the device. 
  • A powerful processor supports real time algorithms on the device. 
  • The firmware is designed to be robust for future extensions, such as over-the-air updates, new algorithms, and user interface upgrades. 
  • The display is always on so that time is always shown. The display is low power and high resolution for an appealing look and a robust user interface.

The Study Watch will be used in several observational studies conducted by Verily's participating partners, including the Personalized Parkinson's Project. You can read more about the wearable at its official blog.

Florence Ion

Florence Ion was formerly an editor and columnist at Android Central. She writes about Android-powered devices of all types and explores their usefulness in her everyday life. You can follow her on Twitter or watch her Tuesday nights on All About Android.