Samsung Flaunts Wrist Band that Monitors Your Health
Smart watches that can predict heart attacks. Personal health information in a database that can give you a “wellness score” of how you’re eating, sleeping and exercising. An alwayson connection to doctors that gives them a real-time look at your health.
The next wave of wearable tech and app development is likely to centre on personalised health and medicine — and Samsung tried to stake its claim on that field.
The company’s innovation and strategy team announced plans for an “open” platform so that developers, medical professionals and hardware makers can push forward the idea of “intelligent digital health.” Samsung did not, unfortunately, announce a release date for its new platform other than “later this year,” around the time of its Samsung Developer Conference. The company announced both a hardware platform and a cloud-based storage and analysis concept. On the hardware side, Samsung showed off a prototype called the Simband, which features smaller, more modular tracking sensors than currently exist, and which supposedly offers better battery life than existing wearable devices. The Simband won’t go into production (you’re stuck with the Galaxy Gear Fit for now), but is intended to provide a reference for future hardware developers. Samsung demonstrated how the watch could track heart rate, blood pressure and ECG in real time. Samsung’s design heavily empha- sises wrist-based wearables, with Samsung’s vice president of digital health, Ram Fish, saying the wrist is the only location for a “truly wearable wearable.”
On the storage and analysis side, Samsung revealed a cloud-based platform called SAMI (for Samsung Architecture Multimodal Interactions, obviously), and said it would act as a sort of bank where people can store the data collected by new health and fitness wearables.
That’s the scary part, and Samsung sought to reassure the crowd that the SAMI database would store health and fitness data, but wouldn’t own it — emphasising that individuals need complete control and access to their own health data, which could only be used with their permission. The company promised security, but didn’t provide details.
The company may have hurried its announcement of a major health initiative because of the speculation that Apple might announce a health and fitness app called Healthbook.