Big week for Google’s wearable news, which honestly isn’t a sentence I expected to write in 2019. But a day after the company announced a deal to buy Fossil’s wearable tech for $ 40 million, the research group Alphabet-owned Verily has just cleared the FDA. For its electrocardiogram (ECG) technology.
The authorization refers specifically to the company’s Study Watch. The device, which was announced in 2017, should not be confused with the company’s more consumer-oriented Wear operating system efforts. Rather, the product is expressly designed to collect vital data for serious medical studies of diseases such as MS and Parkinson’s.
“The ability to take an on-demand, single-lead ECG can support both population-based research and an individual’s clinical care,” writes Verily on his blog. “Receiving this authorization demonstrates our commitment to the FDA’s high standards for safety and efficacy and will help us advance the application of Study Watch in various disease areas and future indications.”
The Study Watch is a device that can only be prescribed, but the authorization leaves one wondering how this could open the door for an upcoming Pixel Watch. After all, Fossil’s latest Wear OS devices had a determined health focus, according to the latest smartwatches. After Apple’s recent addition of ECG to the Series 4 watch, it tracks that Google would want to go to market with a similar health-focused feature set.
In the meantime, this news should open the door to the E Ink device’s ability to help gather meaningful information for medical researchers.