Samsung Announces New Open Health Tracker

In San Francisco, Samsung electronics hosted a press event, where it unveiled a prototype wristband. The wristband provides insights on the health of the user’s body. The company laid out its plans to save and share the recorded data for providing details not just to the device’s user, but also to avid researchers. An expert clearly stated that only the quality of the data could determine the fate of the Simband and Samsung Architecture Multimedia Interactions (Sami). Despite the size of this device being no bigger than smartwatches it can take accurate readings for hydration, heart rate, respiration, galvanic skin response, blood flow and the concentration of glucose in the body along with other readings of the substances found in the air or naturally.

According to a senior health researcher, Doctor Aiden Doherty working at the University of Oxford, expensive and heavy equipment was required to record data reliably. He stated that tension has been created because consumer devices have the advantage that they are not subjected to rigorous checking unlike the medical devices. He added that a device has to be able to provide accurate and dependable output otherwise, imprecise date recorded would lead to the insights being inaccurate as well. A research center of nano-electronics, based in Belgium, has joined hands with Samsung, Tic Trac; a software firm and University of California, San Francisco to launch this digital health tracker device.

Young Sohn, the chief strategy officer at Samsung noted that this idea would only bear fruit if the tech and health professionals worked together to bring Sami to an industry standard. To allow the designers to test the ways to save and share data, Samsung promised that the device would have Simband and Application Program Interfaces (APIs) both, in ‘Beta’ version, presented at the end of the year. It was observed by Company watchers that shortly after Apple’s developers’ conference, Samsung made this announcement. The smartphone leader itself made it clear at the event that the sharing of information would solely be controlled by the user but, the company is aware that this aspect of the health sector can give considerable profits.

The research chief at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, Carolina Milanesi, said that the Simband displays the fact that Samsung wants to take part in the data game and move forward, and be less like Apple and similar to Google. Furthermore, Samsung revealed that the device would also provide Wi-Fi services and would offer Bluetooth connectivity. It said that the wearer would not have to take the device off to charge it but could simply attach it to a magnetic charger. The device would also provide a ‘Wellness score’ to see if the user has been taking care of their health. A percentage would direct how the wearer is doing in the health department.

It was announced by Samsung that a $50m fund would be created to be awarded to the partakers in its Digital Health Challenge. The South Korean giant, in the end, promised to unveil further details in October at its Annual Developers’ Conference.

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