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Samsung unveils new digital health platform

Samsung on Wednesday unveiled a new digital health technology platform that uses sensors to track a range of body functions such as heart rate and blood pressure.

SAN FRANCISCO: Samsung on Wednesday unveiled a new digital health technology platform that uses sensors to track a range of body functions such as heart rate and blood pressure.

Unveiled at an event in San Francisco the new platform dubbed "Simband" does not include any commercial products, but Samsung demonstrated how it might work with a wristband.

The South Korean electronics giant showed how a device can track measurements such as heart rate, respiratory rate and blood pressure and collect data from a variety of sources to help consumers better understand what is happening with their health.

Simband will work in tandem with a cloud-based open software platform called SAMI which securely stores data and can provide better insights into health issues.

"The combination of Simband-designed sensor technologies and algorithms and SAMI-based software will take individual understanding of the body to a new level," the company said in a statement.

The new tech platform in cooperation with university researchers is part of an effort by Samsung to use digital products to help improve health care.

"Our bodies have always had something to say but now, with advanced sensors, algorithms and software, we will finally be able to tune into what the body is telling us," said Michael Blum of the University of California at San Francisco, in the Samsung statement.

"Validation of these technologies will improve the quality of data collected and help advance the ability to bring new products to market quickly."

The Samsung Digital Health Initiative is based on open hardware and software platforms and allows the use of sensors, algorithms, and data collection and analysis that can help consumers and health care providers.

The initiative "provides an exciting opportunity for the brightest minds in the technology world to come together to develop the products that will, for the first time, put individuals in the driver's seat in understanding their own health and wellness," said Young Sohn, president and chief strategy officer, Device Solutions at Samsung Electronics.

"At a time when health care spending is at record levels and when the number of people over the age of 60 worldwide is expected to exceed more than 1.2 billion by 2025, digital health is an incredibly important area for innovation.

“We believe this initiative will be an essential first step and we invite developers and partners across the globe to join us in creating the technologies of the future that will help make people's lives healthier."

The move follows an announcement by Google last year that it was launching a new company that could draw on the work from technology and other sectors to combat health problems. 

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