HealthWatch (WFRV) -- Medical emergencies at 60 miles an hour. A study by the national highway traffic safety administration says 84 percent of drivers in crashes that were brought on by medical emergencies experienced seizures, blackouts, or diabetic reactions prior to the crash. Now car companies are hoping technology can change those stats.
When you think car safety airbags might come to mind or seatbelts and crash test dummies, but what about car healthy? Well that's what engineers at ford motor company are working on right now.
"It's kind of an extension on driver safety," David Melcher, a Ford research engineer told Ivanhoe.
Using Bluetooth, they're making health and wellness apps for your car. Collaborating with medical professionals to help people with diabetes, asthma and allergies, the system will be able connect to servers that access patient information and alert drivers to medical red flags even give suggestions on how to prevent a diabetic episode.
Ford's Gary Strumolo says this is only the beginning.
"Imagine if you could ask for the healthiest route," Gary Strumolo, health & wellness
research engineer at Ford said.
Future plans include tying in your car's GPS to shut air vents or re-route you if you're driving through areas with poor air quality, and help for diabetics.
"Your sugars turning low, two blocks up on the right there's a convenience store you should stop and get something," Strumolo said.
Health on the highway:
"While you maintain your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel," Strumolo said.
Right now, the allergy alert app is available for free for people with iPhones. It works in ford vehicles with the sync app-link system. Other health and wellness applications are in different stages of development including a real-time glucose monitor and a driver's seat that measures your heart rate. Toyota is also working on a steering wheel with a built-in echocardiogram that can tell if a driver is having a heart attack.