The smartwatches of today are packed with all the basics needed to count your steps and measure your heart rate, but Google has plans for something a little more advanced: a blood-sampling mechanism for wearables that gathers much more information about the state of your health.
Such a device is outlined in a new patent Google has filed in the US, and it could potentially help those with diabetes and other conditions where regular blood tests are useful. Instead of taking a trip to the doctors you could just carry on watching Netflix.
As with every new invention we see at the patent stage, there's no guarantee we'll ever see this in an actual product, but it gives a good idea about the direction Google's thinking is going in - more advanced health tracking and diagnosis, obviously.
Getting under your skin
The mechanism outlined by Google in its patent uses a gas-powered microparticle that's blasted into your skin, quickly drawing a small vial of blood into a pressurised container. Samples could be sent to a lab or measured using a small hand-held device.
There's no doubt that wearable devices that can more accurately measure our health are going to be useful - remember Google's smart contact lenses? - but whether we're all comfortable handing over our medical information to the company's data servers is another matter.
Now we've all got miniature computers in our pockets and on our wrists, miniature medical devices are the next step, and Google will no doubt be eager to set the pace. If you don't like the idea of a blood-sucking smartwatch, perhaps a smart pill sounds more palatable.
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