Verily unveils investigational Study Watch for collecting health data in medical research

Verily introduced an investigational device, dubbed the Verily Study Watch, designed to passively capture a person's health data for use in medical research studies. The company said that "while numerous wearables exist…we have a specific need outside of these offerings, namely the scalable collection of rich and complex datasets across clinical and observational studies." The device "was tailored specifically for high-quality signals and seamless usage, with consideration of the needs of observational studies," Verily added.

The Study Watch features multiple physiological and environmental sensors to measure relevant signals, including electrocardiogram, heart rate, electrodermal activity and inertial movements, for use in various studies, such as those focused on cardiovascular and movement disorders. Verily noted that a long battery life of up to one week will improve user compliance during longitudinal trials, while "large internal storage and data compression allow the [smartwatch] to store weeks' worth of raw data, thus relaxing the need to frequently sync the device." Further, the company said the Study Watch's powerful processor supports real-time algorithms, and that all data on the device are encrypted for security.

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Verily explained that the Study Watch will be used in several observational studies, including the Personalized Parkinson's Project, which aims "to identify patterns in the progression of Parkinson's disease and provide a foundation for more personalised treatments." It will also be used in the upcoming longitudinal Baseline study "exploring transitions between health and disease," the company said, adding "in the future, we plan to incorporate Study Watch in a broad array of health applications."

A recent report indicated that Apple is developing sensors for the non-invasive and continuous monitoring of blood glucose levels, and that it has hired a team of biomedical engineers to be part of the confidential initiative.

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