Samsung partners to develop next-gen health and wellness software, mobile apps

Samsung, along with several other electronics conglomerates, is working to puzzle out what's next in mobile healthcare. A growing foothold in healthcare could aid these companies, which are vulnerable to the vagaries of eroding profit margins and rapidly evolving technology.

Last month, Canon created its own biomedical business and did its first deal by partnering with startup Spartan Bioscience to develop DNA-based diagnostics. Earlier this year, Nikon said it would acquire optical imaging player Optos for $400 million. However, Sony ($SNE) has headed in the opposite direction--recently selling half its stake in the troubled Olympus as it's weighed upon by ongoing problems with ineffective cleaning of its duodenoscopes.

In order to help secure its own med tech future, Samsung has partnered with Partners HealthCare, which is affiliated with the Harvard Medical School teaching hospitals including Brigham and Women's Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital, to develop digital and mobile software with health and wellness applications.

Kamal Jethwani

"We are excited to have access to the vast capabilities of Samsung Electronics to help improve the way we deliver care to our patients," Dr. Kamal Jethwani, senior director of Connected Health Innovation at Partners HealthCare, said in a statement. "This joint development program has the potential to significantly propel mHealth and personal connected health forward. This project represents the start of how smart technology, intelligent algorithms and world class clinical expertise can be combined to change the paradigm of care delivery." He will lead this research initiative that will launch a clinical trial in June.

Chronic disease management software development and clinical research will be the focus of the first phase of this collaboration. Ultimately, the idea is to develop remote monitoring programs and tools to track patient data such as blood pressure, blood glucose and weight to provide healthcare providers with better information to tailor care as well as to encourage individuals to better manage their own health.

The partners expect that the deal will combine the real-world health experience of Partners HealthCare with Samsung's technology to create effective and innovative personal health tools. Samsung's Digital Media and Communications R&D Center will oversee this program for its parent company.

"We aim to leverage our technology to help individuals lead healthier lives, while delivering healthcare providers the tools they need to improve clinical outcomes," Suntae Jung, Samsung Electronics VP, said in a statement.

- here is the release