4 Ways Ford Will be Monitoring Your Health

Jeffrey Gross

Before too long, if you need a health check-up, you may not need to go any further than your car. Ford has been developing new technologies that can monitor your health, and if necessary, send the results to your doctor. The built-in apps are designed to monitor your health as you drive and alert you to any problems which could affect your safety while driving.

Ford is working in conjunction with several medical technology companies to design a suite of apps that can be connected to its onboard Sync communications interface. Though the technology is still in the research stage, it could be available within the next two years. Here’s what’s in store.

Driver’s Seat Heart Monitor

Ford has joined forces with professor Steffen Leonhardt, at RWTH Aachen University to develop a driver’s seat heart monitor. The heart monitoring system function rather like an EKG (electrocardiograph) in that it detects the heart’s activity using sensors which pick up electrical impulses. In this case, the sensors are located on the surface of the driver’s seat, rather than attached directly to the driver. The sensors can detect the heart’s electrical activity through clothing. The heart monitor may have several applications including streaming vital information about the driver’s heart condition to medical facilities via mobile phone, warning the driver to leave the road via an onscreen display, automatically calling for emergency assistance, and activating Ford safety systems such as Lane Keeping System.

In-dash Glucose Monitor

Ford has teamed up with medical device company Medtronic to develop a blood glucose monitoring app that connects Sync, via Bluetooth, to a wireless glucose monitoring device. Drivers with diabetes wear the device, which provides continuous glucose monitoring. The app shares the driver’s updated information through the onboard display. The system will also transmit alerts if blood sugar levels fall too low.

Allergen Monitoring

In tandem with SDI Health and Pollen.com, Ford has developed a system which drivers can use to ask Sync for information on pollen and other allergen levels in any given area as well as the risk index for asthma, ultraviolet rays, cough, cold and flu. The conditions can be displayed on the onboard dash display or spoken aloud.

Vital Signs Cam

Ford may also be considering teaming up with Phillips to implement their vital signs camera. The hightech camera can monitor the driver’s pulse rate by detecting and measuring subtle color changes in the skin that are imperceptible to the human eye. The camera is designed with sophisticated algorithms which can analyze the frequency of these color changes. The camera measures breathing rate by monitoring the rise can fall of the abdomen and chest and amplifying these movements. The system works with any skin type and is even effective if the driver is moving around.

It’s easy to see that not only will these types of technology protect drivers, but they will also help prevent many health-related accidents. If you’re like many Ford drivers, and you can’t wait to get your hands on this technology, next time you visit your Ford dealership, don’t forget to ask about updates on Ford’s latest onboard health monitoring technology.

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