Samsung is intensifying its focus on healthcare innovation by exploring the development of noninvasive glucose monitoring and continuous blood pressure tracking. The company aims to compete with tech giants like Apple in integrating health features into a range of devices, including the newly announced Galaxy Ring.
Hon Pak, the executive overseeing the effort, envisions providing consumers with a comprehensive picture of their well-being through sensors on various body parts and around the home. Health tracking has become a pivotal feature for smartphones and watches, with Samsung, Apple, and Google leveraging these capabilities to attract and retain customers.
Continuous blood pressure tracking and glucose monitoring without invasive methods would be significant breakthroughs. Apple has been working on a noninvasive glucose reader for years, aiming to eliminate the need for users to prick their skin. Samsung is now investing significantly in achieving similar capabilities.
While Pak didn’t specify a timeline, he expressed hope that noninvasive glucose monitoring could reach the market within the next five years. The company is exploring various technologies and miniaturization to achieve this goal.
Last week, Samsung announced its development of a health-sensing ring, the Galaxy Ring, scheduled for release by the end of 2024. Pak sees this product as catering to those who prefer a more comfortable and less obtrusive health-tracking device, meeting the needs of a specific population.
The Galaxy Ring will initially focus on activity and sleep tracking, with plans for additional health features. The pricing details have not been finalized, but like Samsung’s Galaxy Watches, it is unlikely to be compatible with Apple’s iPhone.
Developing a nonintrusive blood sugar monitor is a challenging task, but the potential rewards are substantial. While Apple has made progress in this area, a product remains years away. Both companies are also working on improving blood pressure monitoring, aiming for longer intervals between calibrations.
Samsung is also exploring new sensors for its earbuds, studying ways to measure body temperature and heart rates. Pak suggests that the ear might offer a closer pathway to the heart than the wrist, providing users with a more comprehensive health picture when combined with wrist and ambient data.
Looking ahead, mixed-reality headsets could become a new frontier for health. Pak envisions meditation and mental health as key areas for such devices and is currently exploring partnerships in this direction.