Google wants to create earbuds that monitor users' health

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office awarded Google a patent for in-ear health monitoring technology July 10 — a continuation of the tech giant's recent moves into the healthcare space.

Google is likely building a set of earbuds to measure a wearer's body temperature, according to market research firm CB Insights. The device will use a sensor to collect data on the wearer's temperature as they listen to music or podcasts on their smartphone.

The device will compare each day's temperature against the wearer's baseline, and, over time, will be able to identify any unexpected changes.

In its patent, Google said the device would help users identify health issues — such as if they contract a contagious disease — with the added benefit of early detection. On a broader scale, the company suggested the device could support outbreak management protocols worldwide.

"Distributing the devices during outbreaks of diseases such as Ebola and swine flu could increase early detection rates, decrease mortality and limit the scope of the outbreak," CB Insights notes.

The patent also outlined how to encourage users to regularly record their temperatures, including by providing those who participate with financial compensation.

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