Samsung has unveiled a new health monitoring platform, alongside a new fitness band that does not need connected charging.
View this video from CNET covering the presentation:
Called SAMI, the platform combines software, hardware and cloud services that lets Samsung and other companies that opt to use the platform keep track of aspects of the wearer’s health.
A demo on stage showed a smartwatch, the Simband, monitoring real-time heart rate, blood pressure, blood oxygenation and based on the image of the watch, along with ECG data.
All gathered from sensors on the rear of the watch, although some advanced features might need other sensors to work.
The company also suggested the device would stay charged via an add on a small charging module.
The South Korean firm has teamed up with Imec – a nanoelectronics research centre based in Belgium – and the University of California, San Francisco, to create the digital health initiative.
Samsung Electronic’s chief strategy officer Young Sohn noted that the idea would only come to fruition if “we all work together as one”, signalling the firm’s need for other health and tech professionals to take part if Sami was to become an industry standard.
Set to launch next year, the platform will have APIs for developers to use at the end of this year.
The firm is investing heavily too, and has also announced large pot of money which it will invest in companies that are researching ways to use health data.
Many company watchers noted that the announcement appeared shortly before Apple’s developers conference, which begins on Monday. The iPhone-maker is known to have recruited several health sensor researchers of its own over recent years, and there is speculation it will detail plans for its own health data platform.
Although Samsung made clear that users would have control over how data was shared and described Sami as a “custodian”, it is well aware of the potential profits the health sector holds. The firm noted itself at the event that $6.5 trillion (£3.9tn) was currently spent a year on global healthcare.
The consultancy firm IHS Technology recently forecast that the global market for fitness, sports and activity monitors would rise from $1.9bn last year to $2.8bn in 2018.