New Samsung device to change the way health is monitored

Could a wristwatch provide seniors with technology that supports healthy aging and holds the possibility to extend independent living for older people with health conditions?

Samsung, the Korean technology firm most widely known for its cell phones, announced a new health band that they hope will lead to great developments in the medical technology industry. According to TIME magazine, the company is calling it an investigational device because it be will available to developers on an open platform.

The Simband was revealed at an onstage presentation in San Francisco where Samsung Electronics president Young Sohn was wearing the device. It looks similar to other smart watches that have been released in recent years, with a touch screen, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capabilities. Currently it's designed to monitor heart rate and blood oxygen levels. TIME magazine reported that most of the software is built into the band, but there is an external battery pack so consumers can recharge the device without removing the watch. Sohn said one of the company's main goals is to create a product that is wearable 24/7.

A program called SAMI, Samsung Multimodal Architecture Interaction, was announced at the same time. SAMI is the cloud-based service that stores data like that collected by the Simband. It's also going to be an open platform, but users will be in control of the database. Developers are expected to be able to access the technology later in 2014. It won't be available to consumers yet, but the hope is that wearable health devices will spawn from Samsung's efforts.

Samsung's announcement preceded Apple's upcoming Worldwide Developers Conference where the tech giant is expected to reveal its own health-related program and perhaps device.