When you think of cars and the types of assistance that they provide you immediately think of getting directions or various sources of entertainment such as music and movies. Recently many car companies have developed programs that can locate businesses and restaurants in your area followed by giving you directions to get there.
Ford is now going a big giant leap farther by working together with healthcare companies to develop mobile apps that could help people better manage their health. Initially they are looking at developing apps that will help diabetics monitor their blood glucose levels as well as helping those with asthma or allergies better avoid environments that may cause them issues.
Much the way apps that already exist can help you avoid areas with large amounts of traffic, users will be able to avoid areas with allergens in the air that could irritate their allergies. In the future, Ford is looking at developing apps to help monitor heart rate and even using technology to help relieve stress when driving.
Some may look at this move and wonder why Ford is stepping into what seems like an entirely new realm, but this quote from Gary Strumolo of Ford sheds some light on what they are trying to accomplish.
“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.”
I have an early version of SYNC in one of my cars, and I absolutely love it. It makes so many things more convenient, and it interfaces so well with all of the devices that I have hooked up to it. There are already numerous upgrades to the program since I bought my car in 2009, but reading about stuff like this gets me even more excited about what the future holds, especially in the realm of improving my health.
The full press release fro Ford can be found here.