Samsung and UCSF team up to tackle digital health


UCSF and Samsung are joining forces to accelerate the development of new sensors, algorithms and digital preventative health technologies.

On Friday they announced the establishment of the UCSF-Samsung Digital Health Innovation Lab, a new space to be located in UCSF’s Mission Bay campus where lead researchers and technologists will collaborate on developing mobile health technologies, as well as testing existing ones.

“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, in a statement.

The divide between technology and medicine has traditionally been problematic in the mobile health space. Often mobile health technologies lack evidence-based approaches that would make them medically useful. And just as often medical practitioners are slow to adopt emerging technologies that might move the field forward.

The joint innovation lab intends to be the rare kind of space where entrepreneurs and innovators will be able to validate their technologies and accelerate the adoption of new preventive health solutions alongside top medical researchers.

“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. Meanwhile, many practitioners also have creative ideas for new devices, but they lack the technological knowledge to fully develop them,” said Dr. Michael Blum, UCSF’s associate vice chancellor for Informatics.