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Samsung sets up digital health innovation lab

Forms mobile health partnership to develop new sensors, algorithms and digital health technologies

Google Glass health doctorsElectronics giant Samsung has partnered with a leading US university to set up a digital health innovation lab and accelerate the development of new mobile health technology.

The firm's venture with the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) aims to develop a range of preventive health solutions, in the form of new sensors and algorithms and other digital health technologies.

The UCSF-Samsung Digital Health Innovation Lab will be located in UCSF's Mission Bay campus in San Francisco and will act as a test bed for entrepreneurs, allowing them to “validate their technologies and accelerate the adoption of new preventive health solutions”.

Young Sohn, president and chief strategy officer of Samsung Electronics, said: "Harnessing new preventative health technologies to help people live healthier lives is the next great opportunity of our generation.

“Samsung's global Digital Health Innovation Lab initiative is aimed at enabling great new ideas to be tested, validated, and commercialised more quickly, thereby making lives better for millions of people around the world.”

According to the partners, the formation of their innovation lab is an acknowledgement of the speed with which the mobile health field is evolving and the need for technological advances in fields like wearable devices to undergo systematic, rigorous validation.

“Mobile health has struggled to achieve its potential and gain widespread adoption by consumers and healthcare professionals,” Samsung and UCSF said, and they want to address this challenge.

Michael Blum is associate vice chancellor for informatics at UCSF, which focuses exclusively on health.

“There are many new sensors and devices coming onto the market for consumers, but without medical validation, most of these will have limited impacts on health,” he said. “Meanwhile, many practitioners also have creative ideas for new devices, but they lack the technological knowledge to fully develop them.”

“This partnership will bring together these two very different worlds of expertise with the resources needed to accelerate new and disruptive technologies that will truly change lives.”

Meanwhile, Samsung has just released two new versions of its Gear smartwatch, beating Apple to the release of a health-tracking smartwatch. The Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo add fitness-tracking capabilities, such as a heart rate monitor, and their built-in accelerometer and gyroscope allows integration with Samsung's existing health tracking applications, potentially positioning them as replacements for standalone fitness trackers like Fitbit.

24th February 2014

From: PME

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