Samsung, UCSF announce digital health collaboration

South Korea’s Samsung Electronics is to work with the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) on developing digital health technologies aimed at reducing the number of preventable illnesses.

As part of the tie-up, the two organizations are to establish a new research center they are calling the UCSF-Samsung Digital Health Innovation Lab, which will be located at UCSF’s Mission Bay campus in San Francisco.

Researchers and technologists will be able to use the center for trials of emerging mobile health technologies.

Samsung (Seoul, South Korea) said it hoped this would help to accelerate the adoption of new preventive health technologies.

“Harnessing new preventative health technologies to help people live healthier lives is the next great opportunity of our generation,” said Young Sohn, president and chief strategy officer of Samsung Electronics. “We invite the world's innovators and entrepreneurs to join us to validate their new sensors, analytics and preventive health solutions in a world class setting.”

According to the South Korean company, advances in technologies like wearable computing, health sensors and cloud-based analytics are giving individuals greater control over the management of their own health, and yet mobile health is struggling to achieve its potential due to a lack of “systematic, rigorous validation”.

Working with UCSF, Samsung says it wants to overcome this challenge by developing develop new and effective technologies.

“There are many new sensors and devices coming onto the market for consumers, but without medical validation, most of these will have limited impacts on health,” added Michael Blum, UCSF’s associate vice chancellor for informatics. “Meanwhile, many practitioners also have creative ideas for new devices, but they lack the technological knowledge to fully develop them.”

The partners claim the UCSF Mission Bay campus represents an ideal location for the UCSF-Samsung Digital Health Innovation Lab.

The new bioscience campus supports some 50 bioscience startups, nine established pharmaceutical and biotech companies and 10 venture capital firms.

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