CES 2012: Ford ties up with Microsoft, Healthrageous and BlueMetal for in-car health

By Telecom Lead Team:
Automobile major Ford, Microsoft, Healthrageous and BlueMetal Architects announced
an alliance to research technology to help people monitor and maintain health
and wellness while on the move.


“People are spending more time in their cars, and
with the tremendous growth in mobile healthcare solutions, Ford is dedicated to
understanding the value of being able to connect to health and wellness-related
services while driving,” said Gary Strumolo, manager of Infotainment,
Interiors, Health and Wellness at Ford Research and Innovation.


The prototype system developed by BlueMetal Architects
leverages Ford SYNC technology, Microsoft HealthVault, Windows Azure and
the interactive services Healthrageous provides in conjunction with compatible
biometric measurement devices.


Healthrageous affirmed that the initiative is about
making health more accessible, and engaging and thereby helping more people
lead healthier and more enriching lives.


Ford is seeking to develop “the car that
cares.” As people spend more time in their cars, the ability to manage
health and wellness on the go becomes more important.


There are several reasons why the automobile is an ideal
platform for research and development in the healthcare area. First, it is
convenient and private and secondly, it facilitates personalized access to the
information, products and services people need. Also, it’s a logical place for
them to manage their health while they are more often stuck in traffic.


“This alliance signifies an important step in
bringing health innovation into people’s everyday lives. Ford’s SYNC platform
allows us to imagine, design and build natural user experiences leveraging
voice and touch, which seamlessly bring wellness into your everyday commute,”
said Todd Bremner, chief technical officer for BlueMetal Architects.


The system, being developed by the alliance, would
capture biometric and vehicle data as the basis for real-time health and
wellness advice and monitoring.


The driver can provide voice inputs, detailing important
aspects of his or her health routine. The data received from the driver are
then uploaded into the HealthVault cloud, at which point they are transferred
to Windows Azure. The information is processed with other health data, which
are used to create graphical reports the driver can access after having left
the vehicle.


Ford Motor Company recently decided to create and open a new research lab in
Silicon Valley early this year. The new facility will be its first-ever
dedicated R&D office on the west coast.


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