Why not expand the growing list of in-car technologies to monitor the driver’s health? That’s the message from Ford, which has demonstrated a collection of health and wellness technologies linked to the company’s Sync information and entertainment system.
One of the more mundane features demonstrated by Blue Oval researchers is an allergy alert system. Tied to SDI Health and pollen.com, the feature would provide information on pollen, asthma, ultraviolet-light, and other allergy indexes near the driver’s location. Like SDI Health’s iPhone app, Sync could provide multi-day allergen predictions, accessible via voice commands. It could also provide a warning if a driver suddenly enters a high-risk area, hopefully staving off the risk of a dangerous asthma attack.
Similarly, Ford is partnering with online health provider WellDoc to provide in-car information and feedback on managing health conditions. According to Ford, drivers could use voice commands to receive updates and suggestions on how best to manage conditions like asthma and diabetes, as well as reminders to take prescribed medication.
To further help drivers suffering from diabetes, Ford has proposed a Bluetooth-linked glucose monitoring device. Developed in partnership with Medtronic, the device would let drivers keep track of the blood-sugar levels, receiving audible and visual alerts through their car’s entertainment system. Ford says this could help drivers avoid dangerous health issues -- like hypoglycemia leading to dizziness or confusion -- while behind the wheel.
For now, Ford admits that all these features are in the research stage, but says most of them could be implemented in a short amount of time. We have no doubt that some of the health features will reach the marketplace over the next few years, adding to the long list of Sync capabilities including access to horoscopes and movies times, as well as web applications like Pandora streaming radio.