Verily introduces Study Watch that keeps health data encrypted

Sarmistha Acharya
Verily Study Watch

Alphabet's research division dedicated for life sciences announced details about its new smartwatch called Verily Study Watch on 14 April. Brian Otis, the chief technical officer (CTO) at Verily had earlier said the watch is a cardiac and activity monitor.

The wearable is aimed at collecting datasets for clinical and observational studies, the company said in a blog. The Study Watch has multiple physiological and environmental sensors to measure relevant signals for studies, spanning cardiovascular, movement disorders and more. The device's battery lasts for about a week.

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Although Verily did not reveal the storage capacity, it said the watch has large internal storage and data compression, which allows the device to store weeks' worth of data. The wearable also has a powerful processor that supports real time algorithms on the device.

The wearable's display, which is low power and high resolution, is always on. Currently it only shows time and certain instructions.

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All data of the device are encrypted, as it stores health-related data. Verily says the data is uploaded and processed in the cloud with the help of company's backend algorithms and machine learning tools.

The Study Watch would be used in multi-year study to identify patterns in Parkinson's disease and provide a more personalised treatment. It would be used in the upcoming Baseline study; a longitudinal study to explore transition between health and disease. As the watch is an investigational device, it will not be available for sale.

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