Have you heard? We partnered last year with researchers at University of California, San Francisco to bring new digital technologies like SAMI into medicine and academia. We call this collaboration the Digital Health Innovation Lab (DHIL), and we think this work has important long-term implications for advances in healthcare around the world.
The following short video gives an overview of how our partnership with UCSF has worked for the past year:
We recently caught up with Dr. Tejash Shah, Strategy & Business Development at Samsung Strategy & Innovation Center, who shared his thoughts about DHIL’s mission and Samsung’s role in the future of healthcare.
Our collaboration with UCSF is the first of its kind, and is being used to validate that these new digital technologies will work as expected in future situations outside of a controlled research environment.
As Shah points out, “With the proliferation of devices out there to manage our health, while there are a lot of them to choose from, there currently is not a lot of science behind them.” This can create a barrier to adoption, since consumers need to know if they can reliably use these devices when making decisions about their individual health.
Of course, we’re not talking about collecting data from a single device – SAMI can be used to facilitate large-scale clinical trials.
“SAMI as a platform is powerful for research, since you can add new data types, sources and devices to the platform, and it gives you a convenient way to view all of the data in real-time,” Shah says. Add to this the fact that all of the data that is collected is fully secure.
Shah expects that wearables will change the way researchers collect and analyze data.
For example, DHIL is also using Simband, which contains the most advanced set of sensors on a single wearable device. All of the data on Simband is collected in real-time and hosted in the cloud. Researchers at UCSF are able to take the raw signal data transmitted by Simband and turn it into meaningful information that people can use.
“These devices are providing a whole new set of data that never existed before, and it establishes a new paradigm for how frequently you can collect this type of information, and how you can engage users like never before,” Shah says. “Because the data is being collected in real-time, you can give feedback to the user in ways that were not possible before.”
For instance, if a doctor is seeing something out of the ordinary, there will be opportunities for what Shah describes as “in-the-moment” behavior correction to address the issue.
Additionally, developers can enable their devices or applications to make all kinds of contextual data available on SAMI. Data collected from one wearable device can be compared to other parameters so that a more holistic view can be given on what the person is doing. “It sounds small, but it is really valuable,” Shah says.
As wearables – and the technology behind them – become more sophisticated, Shah expects that they will play a much deeper role in healthcare as a whole. “In the United States, we’re moving to a much more decentralized model for care, and wearables are going to enable that transition to happen. Platforms like SAMI will be an enabling infrastructure for that happen.”
At the same time, in developing nations, wearables are going to eliminate barriers to care that have existed up until now. “You are no longer constrained by geographic boundaries. You can get care from a leading expert halfway around the world,” Shah says. “A whole class of diagnostic devices that give you information about your body and your health are enabling that – it is happening now.”
Finally, it is worth noting that while the Digital Health Innovation Lab has not yet engaged with the developer community, we are now working on a project where developer support will play an integral role. We’ll keep you posted.