Sep. 18, 2012 at 1:12 PM ET
The phone in your pocket may be smart enough to give directions and play games, but when was the last time it took your temperature? The LifeWatch is a new Android-based phone with the ability to monitor vital statistics like heart rate and blood sugar.
Many people suffer from chronic medical conditions like diabetes or high blood pressure that necessitate frequent checks of their vital signs. Often this is achieved by a dedicated device like a blood sugar detector or heart rate monitor — but the creators of LifeWatch realized these functions could be integrated into a single device.
The LifeWatch has several sensors built in, and can be combined with accessories to extend its functionality. The frame of the phone contains a sensor that detects heart rate, and another on the back will detect the temperature of your skin. A port at the top allows for blood to be tested directly, although the phone doesn't have a method of pricking your finger (something which may soon be unnecessary anyway).
Everything is integrated with other functions in the phone, so you can track your statistics through the day or set reminders to test at doctor-prescribed intervals. The developers hope that this mobile medical machine will be available starting in 2013, which gives them time to get it approved by the appropriate authorities and market it to hospitals.
Devin Coldewey is a contributing writer for NBC News Digital. His personal website is coldewey.cc.