Fred Pennic over at HIT Consultant posted a great story about the new $50 million digital health initiative coming out of Samsung. Here’s a portion of Fred’s article about the announcement:
The new initiative will utilize a new health open reference design platform tailored to take advantage of the latest sensors, behavioral algorithms, battery technologies and displays.
To aggressively support this initiative, Samsung has also announced a $50 million investment fund dedicated to innovative start-ups and technologies in the digital health space. The goal of the fund is to stimulate creative new approaches to digital health and Samsung’s open platforms.
I’ve long been interested in the role that cell phone companies will play in the digital health space and specifically in the health sensors space. There’s always been a bit of a problem for me with the various health sensors out there in the market today. I just don’t care enough about them to wear one every day. The watch comes closest to a natural product that I could see myself wearing it regularly, but the clip on products just aren’t something I want to do every day. I have too many other things to think about.
Of course, you wouldn’t catch most of us without our cell phones on us. This is why it’s always made sense why the cell phone would be the ultimate health tracker. It doesn’t require a habit change by the end user.
Until this cell phone-health sensor vision comes to fruition we’re going to have to limp along with these other wearable technologies and no doubt Samsung wants to be a major player in that space so they know which ones are worth integrating into their cell phones down the road. With that in mind, $50 million seems like a small investment for them to make in the space.
I personally see this $50 million fund as a small down payment by Samsung on what will likely become a much larger investment for them in healthcare.