Your next car might play doctor

Updated: May 31, 2011

Ford is working on health-related apps for it’s SYNC infotainment system. Among them is a new glucose monitoring system for diabetics.  The prototype allows cars to connect via Bluetooth to a  Medtronic continuous glucose monitoring device  and provide alerts if levels are too low.

“By utilizing information technology and consumer electronic devices, we can help patients actively manage their health via access to real-time data on phones, hand-held devices or even in their cars,” said James Dallas, senior vice president Medtronic, in a Ford news release.

“Ford’s approach to health and wellness in the vehicle is not about trying to take on the role of a healthcare or medical provider, we’re a car company,” said Gary Strumolo, global manager, Interiors, Infotainment, Health & Wellness Research, Ford Research and Innovation.

“Our goal is not to interpret the data offered by the experts, but to work with them to develop intelligent ways for Ford vehicles using the power of SYNC. In essence, creating a secondary alert system and alternate outlet for real-time patient coaching services if you will.”

An allergy index app is also coming and Ford engineers say they have developed a car seat that can monitor a driver’s heartbeat.  The seat uses six embedded sensors to detect electrical impulses generated by the heart.  The data collected could be analyzed by onboard computer software.  Ford says the possibilities range from linking to remote medical services to providing real-time health information and alerts of an imminent heart attack.


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