Samsung looks to borrow concepts from the Simband platform it launched in 2014 as a reference for new health monitoring devices it plans to build in the near future, according to Francis Ho, chief of digital health at the company. For those who are not familiar with Samsung Simband, as it has stopped making the rounds in the internet quite a while back, it was a proof-of-concept announced three years ago in a bid to respond to the imminent debut of Apple Watch in the same year. The company intended for Simband to gather health data through monitoring sensors incorporated into the platform.
The platform was a major part of the Samsung Architecture Multimodal Interactions (SAMI) program meant not as a commercial product, but as a resource to help developers build devices that could track blood pressure, heart rate, sweat production, oxygen levels, glucose levels and other bodily activities related to human health. The idea was for SAMI to collect and analyze those pieces of data. Samsung later shifted its focus to the Samsung Gear family of smartwatches and away from Simband after the South Korean company saw that the Apple Watch did not significantly shake the health devices market. A few years later, it turns out that the original equipment manufacturer has still been silently developing Simband through its tech investments arm Samsung Innovation and Strategic Center. Ho revealed that for the last few years, Samsung has been working with researchers and other companies to perform new health-related studies that use ideas from Simband. That means it is possible that the Simband concept could still be introduced into future health monitoring devices as Samsung has been heavily investing in digital health monitoring tools and solutions created by external startups and in new sensor technologies built inside its own labs.
It would have been interesting to see how developers would have been able to create health monitoring apps by gaining access to information uploaded by Simband-based devices to SAMI through the cloud. Nonetheless, Samsung has been advancing its efforts in this segment with the Samsung Health app embedded in the Gear family of wearable devices. It remains to be seen what role Simband concepts will play in Samsung’s push to beef up its position in the health device market.