|Verily's Connectivity Bridge--Courtesy of the FCC|
Alphabet ($GOOG) has said that big data will play a key role in its med tech initiatives. Now the company is revealing a device that can collect and sync medical information more easily. The technology could become a linchpin for Alphabet's healthcare-focused efforts.
The company's Verily division, formerly known as Google Life Sciences, is developing a "Connectivity Bridge" that can be placed in medical facilities or homes to collect patient data. The device, which looks a little like a snorkel mask, uses various sensors to quickly upload information to the cloud for analysis, Business Insider reports.
Verily's Connectivity Bridge was approved by the FCC last year, but photos from the application surfaced earlier this week. The device is already being used for data analysis in a multiple sclerosis study at Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital, according to the Business Insider story.
The product could offer an advantage over traditional data collection methods, as study participants can submit information through the bridge without internet access. The device also allows users to charge and sync their Study Kit devices, or apps and products developed by Google that help researchers collect data.
The connectivity device plays into Verily's larger med-tech ambitions. Last year, the company released a suite of Study Kit apps. Verily is also working on an experimental health-tracking wristband for patients in clinical trials. The wristband measures vital signs and also external information like noise levels to give scientists a better picture of a patient's health.
A connectivity hub could feature heavily in these projects, as it helps speed up storage, analysis and data interpretation from Verily's wristbands and apps. The device could also support an initiative from Alphabet's DeepMind artificial intelligence division.
In February, the London-based group launched DeepMind Health to pilot two health apps. The first app, called Streams, is aiming to find patients who are at high risk of acute kidney injury by looking at blood test results. Another app, named Hark, helps doctors prioritize treatment decisions for patients.