Microsoft is researching how its Xbox 360 games console, mobile phones, and upcoming Natal input device can be used in hospital rooms and related health care applications.
The company's lab branch, Microsoft Research, is currently developing MyLife, an application that uses mobile phone hardware functionality to log daily health metrics. Using a phone's accelerometer and camera, users can track daily exercise and eating habits.
Speaking to computer magazine PC World
, Microsoft Research Asia director of technology strategy Eric Chang explained that MyLife's large-scale goal is to give patients access to a full record of personal medical data.
Other research at Microsoft is investigating the Xbox 360's use in hospital rooms. Researchers note that the console can deliver information from electronic medical records to in-room display screens, at a significantly lower cost than current medical equipment.
The upcoming motion-sensing peripheral codenamed Project Natal is also being investigated for medical use. Preliminary research indicates that the device may be used by patients to control game applications and access Internet services without the use of a controller peripheral.