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Samsung unveils new digital health platform

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Published : 2014-05-29 21:06
Updated : 2014-05-29 21:06

Samsung announced a new digital health vision with the introduction of Simband, a health-tracking wristband, and its big data cloud platform SAMI, at the company’s digital health event in San Francisco.

“We can do more in the health care sector, by combining the advancement of what we have seen in mobile technology with hardware, sensors, algorithms, behavioral science, big data and the cloud,” said Samsung Electronics’ chief strategy officer Young Sohn, wearing a prototype of the rectangular wristband at the event on Wednesday.

“Our goal is, one day, your sensors will know more about your body than you,” he said. 
Sohn Young-kwon, president and chief strategy officer of Samsung Electronics, speaks in San Francisco on Wednesday. (AP-Yonhap)

Simband is an upgraded version of Samsung’s wearable devices the Gear 2 and Gear Fit, both of which sport heart-rate monitors. The new wristband monitors the user’s heart rate, blood flow, respiration, galvanic skin response and hydration in real-time.

Samsung Architecture for Multimodal Interactions, or SAMI is, a cloud-based platform which gathers and processes users’ health data from sensors on wearable devices. It then provides biometric information to help improve users’ health based on the collected data.

Samsung stressed that, for privacy reasons, the users would own the data and not Samsung.

The most interesting thing about the platform is that it is open, industry watchers said. It means that the hardware, software and industrial designs will be open-sourced.

As Simband and SAMI are both open and available to developers, they can help create diverse health-related software and apps for users. The platform will have application programming interfaces for developers so they can use them at the end of this year.

Simband or SAMI will not be commercially available but they will be experimental devices for developers and researchers, Samsung said.

Samsung is currently working with the University of California San Francisco’s digital health innovation lab to validate the accuracy of the sensors.

“Our bodies have always had something to say but now, with advanced sensors, algorithms and software, we will finally be able to tune into what the body is telling us,” said Michael Blum of the University of California at San Francisco, in the Samsung statement.

By Shin Ji-hye (shinjh@heraldcorp.com)

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