Bluetooth – the technology that you use for hands-free calls and wireless music streaming has been used in an interesting collaboration between Ford and Medtronic to manage your health. In a demonstration, unveiled at Ford HQ in Michigan last week, a continuous glucose meter worn by the driver connected with the in dash computer via Bluetooth to provide feedback about their health while driving, and this week Ford demonstrated a seat that can monitor your heart rate.
Connecting medical devices with Bluetooth is not new, and the Bluetooth SIG have even developed a profile specifically to support the needs of Health devices, but the connection to the car pushes the envelope of the technology. If you have ever used a wireless medical device you might think of it connecting to a GP’s computer or a dedicated telehealth hub such as the Tunstall telehealth monitor, but the car is a new concept.
It is a concept that has merit, especially as the car adopts the connectivity and computing power of the mobile handset. In-car entertainment systems that can run applications for news and entertainment are becoming more common. Using this power for the health, comfort and safety of the occupant seems a reasonable next step. Wireless health devices connecting with mobile phones will soon be more common. How long will it be until we see automotive applications?