ford-sync health.automotiveIT

Using Ford Sync, diabetic drivers may soon be able to monitor their glucose levels

Ford is studying whether it's in-car telematics system - Sync - can be used to monitor health issues in drivers.

The U.S. carmaker said its researchers are developing a series of possible in-car health and wellness connectivity services and Apps. These could be used to help people with chronic illnesses.

Ford is working with U.S. medical technology and information companies such as Medtronic, WellDoc and SDI Health.

Medtronic, for example, provides Bluetooth capability to monitor blood glucose levels of diabetics. Data are matched remotely with patients' personal health information. The readings are sent back to drivers or passengers in the car, who then have access to their vital statistics without having to take their hands off the steering wheel.

"If you're a diabetic, certainly you want to have a continuous knowledge of your condition," said Gary Strumolo, manager for vehicle design and infotronics in Ford's research and advanced engineering lab.

Asthma and allergy sufferers may be able to use Ford's Sync soon as well. The system could access a Web site such as to access pollen data. If the pollen count is high, a driver might want to change his airconditioning settings to recirculate more air.

Ford's health and wellness research projects are still in the prototype and research phase. But the carmaker is confident the technology will become available. It didn't provide a timeframe.