One of the attachments was a snap-on pulse oximeter which allows the phone to measure oxygen saturation levels in the blood. This is actually pretty big because it basically puts a medical device right in your pocket. It could be used by physicians on the go, EMTs, and so on, especially if they need to get a quick read and don’t have the necessary equipment on them.
The purpose of the Ara project is to use a touch sensor on the phone to obtain detailed health statistics from the user. Eremenko specifically mentioned blood oxygen content. While a phone equipped with a pulse oximeter is certainly impressive, it appears that it is only the beginning of what Google has planned for the future combining health and technology.
The vision of the Ara project is for users and doctors to be able to communicate up to date medical information that is stored on the patient’s smartphone. The data could range anywhere from vital signs, to a patient’s diet and exercise routine.
With the variety of mobile apps these days, it is about time that all of the data obtained from diet and fitness applications can now be consolidated into a useful form. The particular Google project to accomplish this is still a little ways out though. The company says consumers should be looking for an official announcement regarding the product coming early on in 2015.
For now, we’ll just need to keep going to the doctor the old fashioned way.