Ford, Microsoft, Healthrageous and BlueMetal Architects recently announced an alliance to research technology to help people monitor and maintain health and wellness while on the move.
The alliance was unveiled during the “Doctor in Your Car” keynote address at the Digital Health Summit at the International CES.
“People are spending more time in their cars, and with the tremendous growth in mobile healthcare solutions, Ford is dedicated to understanding the value of being able to connect to health and wellness-related services while driving,” said Gary Strumolo, manager of Infotainment, Interiors, Health and Wellness at Ford Research and Innovation. “Our connectivity platform – Ford SYNC – provides easy, voice-controlled access to mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, and therefore it makes sense to research areas that are important to our customers.”
Customer research and societal trends suggest there’s a strong business case for Ford to explore opportunities in health and wellness technology, Strumolo said.
The car that cares
Strumolo said Ford seeks to develop “the car that cares.” As people spend more time in their cars, the ability to manage health and wellness on the go becomes more important.
The goal is to figure out how to extend health management into the personal vehicle in a nonintrusive fashion. The prototype system was designed by BlueMetal Architects.
Using information collected from blood pressure monitors, activity monitors and glucose meters along with behavioral data shared by the user, Healthrageous is able to help people lead healthier lifestyles by shedding unhealthy habits.
Microsoft’s contribution is to translate robotic sensory information provided by the vehicle into an application that also provides a voice and touch-screen interface, while integrating biometrical data that come from a wearable device.
Ford SYNC allows this all to be done hands-free.
“This alliance signifies an important step in bringing health innovation into people’s everyday lives,” said Todd Bremner, chief technical officer for BlueMetal Architects. “Ford’s SYNC platform allows us to imagine, design and build natural user experiences leveraging voice and touch, which seamlessly bring wellness into your everyday commute.”