Ford's health conscious cars
If you thought car systems were smart now, think again. The driver experience will become even greater as Ford Motor Co. plans to use its SYNC infotainment system to monitor pollen alerts and local weather forecasts as part of its health management services. More than 60 million Americans are affected by asthma and seasonal allergies so it’s no wonder the company has capitalized on this population in an effort keep them educated on the air around them.
Engineers at Ford worked with experts in the medical field and health care management service providers to create a series of onboard apps that can be synced up with a vehicle. The cars will also be able to use Bluetooth capabilities to share information with medical devices and even doctors about health conditions.
"When drivers and passengers are essentially captive in the car, they can use the time they may not ordinarily take to handle their health issues," noted Gary Strumolo, Ford's global manager of interiors, infotainment, health and wellness research, part of Ford's research and innovation division. He also believes that cars might also be capable of planning the healthiest routes to avoid smog and other environmental sensitivities.
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Ford is also exploring other apps and services for diabetics, including glucose monitoring and real-time patient coaching, behavioral education and medication adherence support. Company officials are also figuring out ways to ease driver's stress.
"We already have a chair massage and parking assist feature," Ford's Strumolo said. "In the future the car may be able to monitor heart rate and other stress indicators and it might do things like change the music to help you mellow out."