Samsung has debuted a digital health initiative that boasts open hardware and software platforms for mHealth technology advancement and innovation, according to a recent report from M2M World News.
The goal, according to the company, is to empower consumers to manage their own health and wellness while accelerating new algorithms, sensor, data analysis and mHealth app and device development.
The first initial device built using the platforms is the Simband, a watch that can house multiple sensors and features a tiny motherboard card that will work with Samsung's SAMI wireless data broker service.
The news builds on Samsung's already strong presence in mHealth and fitness wearables market. Last fall, Samsung and health insurer Cigna signed a multi-year agreement to co-develop health and wellness related features built into Samsung's S Health platform on the company's major smart mobile devices.
A Canalys study published earlier this year predicted that more than 17 million wearable bands will ship in 2014, with smartbands hitting 8 million annual shipments.
The Simband devices features sensors for temperature and heart rate monitoring, InfoWorld reported. Potential third-party sensors could expand features to blood-oxygen level, respiration, and hydration monitoring.
Samsung is working with partners, such as the University of California, San Francisco, to develop new mHealth tech; officials said the open platform approach will spur innovation by third parties.
"At a time when healthcare 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," Young Sohn, president and chief strategy officer for device solutions at Samsung Electronics said, according to M2M World News. "We believe this initiative is 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."