Verily, a life sciences spin-off from Alphabet has developed a health tracking smartwatch. The new smart wearable will be used for observational and longitudinal health studies. It is no wonder that the device is named the Study Watch.
Verily stated in a post on their blog that the device has “Multiple physiological and environmental sensors are designed to measure relevant signals for studies spanning cardiovascular, movement disorders, and other areas. Examples include an electrocardiogram (ECG), heart rate, electrodermal activity, and inertial movements”.
The Study Watch has a slim, sleek and simple design. The battery can last for a week, thanks in part to the low power consuming e-paper design. The device remains always-on. Therefore it only displays time like an analog watch. It does not display any kind of notification. It does, however, display instructional information.
The Study Watch stores the wearer’s data on its onboard memory. It has sufficient storage and uses data compression techniques, so as to not require too many synchronizations with the internet cloud it is linked to. The device is used to collect and store data. The processing and analysis of the data happen on a cloud. It does appear that Verily has designed he Study Watch to feel more like a regular watch than a smartwatch, with its simple display and lack of notifications.
This was probably to have users wear the device for as long as possible. This has been difficult for most smart wearable technology and device manufacturers. Even though the capabilities of the watch may outmatch most of the smart wearables currently available on the market, such as most Google Android Wear-based watches, the Study Watch is not for sale.
It will be used by the company in studies such as a multi-year study on the Parkinson’s disease and the Baseline study, which is described as “a longitudinal study exploring transitions between health and disease”.