Verily unveils 'Study Watch' for clinical research

By Melissa Fassbender

- Last updated on GMT

Verily debuted its Study Watch on Friday, April 14. (Image: Verily)
Verily debuted its Study Watch on Friday, April 14. (Image: Verily)

Related tags Clinical trial

Verily has unveiled its Study Watch – an investigational device that captures clinical study data for an "unobtrusive trial experience," says CTO.

Google previously released plans​ to develop a wristband dedicated to tracking clinical trial participants’ vital signs and other data in June 2015. Today, Verily, a spin-off​ of Google's parent company, Alphabet, has announced the Study Watch​.

"Multiple design features are tailored for an unobtrusive trial experience and high-quality data, such as long battery life, classic design, large data storage, and careful sensor designs​," Brian Otis, chief technology officer at Verily told

"Even the decision to always show the time is to drive user compliance," ​Otis added. "Verily's cellular Study Hub allows study participants to upload data without the need for computers or even Wi-Fi, making the user experience simple and scalable​."

According to the company, the watch was designed with input from users, researchers, and clinicians, and features multiple physiological and environmental sensors that will enable researchers to capture​ heart rate, electrodermal activity, and inertial movements, among others.

"The development process is an iterative cycle with design, engineering, and testing the device in the real world. We start with working with a partner who has a scientific and impactful study in mind, this drives the design and sensor selection. And we have conducted a ​long-term study with wearable users so we can get feedback on what impacts user compliance​," said Otis.

All data are encrypted on the device for security purposes, as the watch is able to store up to a week’s worth of health data – removing the need to sync the device.

Collected data are then uploaded and processed in the cloud using Verily’s backend algorithms and machine learning tools.

Currently, the display is minimal and shows only time and certain instructions; however, the firmware is designed for future extensions, including user interface upgrades, as well as over-the-air updates and new algorithms.

According to Verily, the Smart Watch will be used in several observational studies, including the Personalized Parkinson’s Project​ and the upcoming Baseline study​.

"Right now the Study Watch is only available through partnerships for use in clinical studies​," Otis explained.

In the future, the company plans to incorporate the Study Watch in various health applications.


What is your opinion with respect to the future of wearables?

  • Smart watches and other wearables are the next big thing in clinical research

  • Regulatory hurdles and other limitations stand in the way of widespread adoption

  • It’s just a fad


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