Samsung announced, close to a month ago, that they were going to have an event on the 28th and they wanted to talk about health. That event took place last night, and true to their word, Samsung did not announce a device; instead, they announced a whole new platform for wearable devices – the SIMBand and SAMI.
What Is The SIMBand?
The SIMBand essentially is a prototype device and proof of concept of their research and development in the wearables field as well as in to the health industry. The SIMBand is essentially a smartwatch equipped with a whole arsenal of sensors designed to monitor the vital signs as well as some other parameters of the wearer. At the announcement, Samsung confirmed that the SIMBand would be fully modular and come with sensors for blood oxygen levels, heart rate, hydration levels, skin temperature, perspiration or galvanic skin response, and motion. These sensors have effectively enabled live Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) to be taken by the wearable device. The device is powered by 1.0GHz dual-core ARM A7 processor with bluetooth and WiFi connectivity.
What is SAMI?
Along with the SIMBand, Samsung announced the SAMI (Samsung Architecture Multimodal Interactions), a cloud based, open platform on which the data from the SIMBand can be collated and analysed. The cloud-based service is an opt-in service which allows the data collected to be shared with anyone. But, here’s the best part, you can share data from certain modules with different people, potentially, even medical records.
Taking Wearables to the Future, Potential to Go Far
There maybe people who will view this as Samsung throwing things out there to see what sticks, but the technology which they have revealed has potential to go far, really far!
The granularity of the data collected from the sensors is one of the biggest factors. It allows the applications of the SIMBand to reach into territories which other wearables haven’t been able to penetrate yet specifically medical technologies. The nature of the collected data can allow medical professionals to monitor critical and chronic patients without needing them to come in 2 to 3 times a week for check ups thanks to the SIMA platform. This would immensely improve the patients quality of life and also allow more efficient patient management and better patient care to be given largely due to the ability to acquire live data from the bands.
It also allows normal end users, like you and I, to be more in tune with what’s happening with our bodies. With the granularity of the data and sensors that are on the SIMBand, the accuracy of the data is expected to be much much more accurate than current generation fitness centric wearables.
The potential for this reference device is definitely there and Samsung realises this as well as such they also announced the “Samsung Digital Health Challenge” to push the ecosystem and technology forward. On top of that, the technology company says that it has realised that current wearables are being purchased by people who need the monitoring. Hence, the company has said that they will work with insurance companies as well as professionals to bring the device at an affordable price to consumers and to make sure that it reaches the people who really need it.