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Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Samsung Launches Digital Health Initiative
Samsung on Wednesday announced Simband, a modular reference platform for wearable health sensors that other companies can adopt in their own wearables devices.
Samsung also announced the Samsung Architecture for Multimodal Interactions (SAMI), a cloud-based open software platform capable of bringing together diverse data from a variety of sources for analysis.
Simband and SAMI are both part of the Samsung Digital Health Initiative, aimed at directing the resources of technology industry toward empowering individuals to better manage their own health and wellness. The Samsung Digital Health Initiative is based on open hardware and software platforms that will accelerate the development of advanced sensors, algorithms, and data collection and analysis.
Samsung's Simband is an open hardware reference design for wearable technology, capable of integrating advanced sensing technologies. Simband is being designed in a modular way, allowing for innovation in areas like battery life, form factor and noninvasive sensor technology. Samsung invites companies to use the reference platform to create and contribute their own advanced sensors, algorithms and other technologies. Simband is a reference design Samsung and third-parties will use to develop products, and it will not be sold commercially.
SAMI will allow devices and sensors to store data in the cloud regardless of the source's format or structure. SAMI's job is to make more information available, to break open information silos and give applications and services access to large amounts of data to provide better insights. Under Samsung's approach, SAMI will allow data to be controlled by the individual generating it and not by third-parties, so that personal health data can be better protected.
Samsung expects to make "beta" test versions of its Simband wristband and SAMI data service later this year. The company is also trying to improve usability by allowing users to recharge the Simband while wearing it.
At an event at San Francisco's SFJAZZ Center today, Samsung's Strategy and Innovation Center (SSIC) team demonstrated its open platform in a wearable wristband form factor, showing how devices based on this reference-design "blueprint" could be used to track measurements such as heart rate, respiratory rate and blood pressure. The company also demonstrated its open software architecture and how it could be used to collect health data from a variety of sources, aggregate it and display it to consumers.
"Samsung's Digital Health Initiative provides an exciting opportunity for the brightest minds in the technology world to come together to develop the products that will, for the first time, put individuals in the driver's seat in understanding their own health and wellness," said Young Sohn, president and chief strategy officer, Device Solutions, Samsung Electronics. "At a time when healthcare spending is at record levels and when the number of people over the age of 60 worldwide is expected to exceed more than 1.2 billion by 2025, digital health is an incredibly important area for innovation. We believe this initiative is an essential first step and we invite developers and partners across the globe to join us in creating the technologies of the future that will help make people's lives healthier."
To support its Digital Health Initiative, Samsung today also announced the Samsung Digital Health Challenge, a $50 million investment fund dedicated to innovative start-ups and technologies in the digital health area.