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Samsung Partners with UCSF to Speed Up Innovation in Preventive Health Technologies

February 22, 2014 - Written By Syed Sofian Rabbani

The wearable devices segment will definitely see more action in this year. To make things more exciting, if the latest news from SamMobile is correct, preventive health technologies would definitely be getting a major boost – thanks to Samsung’s innovative tie-up with the University of California San Francisco. The two organizations have announced a partnership to speed up innovation in the preventive health technologies arena, which will enable the commercialization of new sensors, algorithms and digital health technologies for preventive health solutions. The two organizations have set up a testing lab which will act as a test bed to ensure that these new sensors and technologies would end up in the hands of consumers.

In the words of Young Sohn, President and Chief Strategy Officer of Samsung Electronics, “harnessing new preventative health technologies to help people live healthier lives is the next great opportunity of our generation. We invite the world’s innovators and entrepreneurs to join us to validate their new sensors, analytics, and preventive health solutions in a world-class setting. Samsung’s global Digital Health Innovation Lab initiative is aimed at enabling great new ideas to be tested, validated, and commercialized more quickly, thereby making lives better for millions of people around the world.”

With the advent of wearable devices, and the rapid advances in the field of mobile health, sensors which would enable us to take preventive actions to improve our quality of life, would have a profound impact on the lives of millions. It may be argued that several mobile apps and wearables exist in the market today – including one which Samsung plans to launch at the MWC – which range from measuring heartbeats to working hard to replace the pedometer; however if the words of Michael Blum, MD and UCSF’s Associate Vice-Chancellor for Informatics are believed; most of these devices and technologies lack medical validation which renders their impact circumspect, at best.

In Michael Blum’s words, “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. Meanwhile, many practitioners also have creative ideas for new devices, but they lack the technological knowledge to fully develop them.” Samsung and UCSF believe this partnership will marry both these different worlds – the medical science and research expertise of UCSF along with the technological superiority and resources of Samsung.

How this partnership impacts the wearable devices of the future and impacts consumers’ lives still needs to be seen. Do let us know your views in the comments section below.