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Samsung's Dr. Rhew Shows What's Possible with Connected Health

June 11, 2014

Samsung is best known for its smartphones, tablets, and TVs, but the company is also working to carve out a space in the developing connected health solutions space.

That’s the word from Dr. Dave Rhew, chief medical officer and vice president of global healthcare for Samsung SDS. Rhew is among the speakers this week at the GENBAND Perspectives14 event in Orlando.

“GENBAND Perspectives14 is a great event to promote the fact that GENBAND and Samsung continue to have a strong relationship and create solutions that deliver value for customers,” said Rhew.

Bringing to bear the IT and other solutions initially developed by Samsung SDS for the company’s internal use, as well as assets from the other divisions at Samsung, the company is just in the formative stages of its effort to create connected health solutions, Rhew explained to RealTimeCommunications. At this point, said Rhew, who joined Samsung a year ago, the company is working with hospitals and partners to understand what needs to be developed in terms of devices, applications, interfaces, analytics, tools to integrate into electronic health records, and feedback loops.

But, considering the U.S. spends close to 18 percent of its Gross Domestic Product on health care, and that health care is expected to be the most costly federal expenditure (exceeding Social Security) by 2015 and continue its rapid growth, the health care space is ripe for new solutions that can help stem the rising tide.

During his speech, Rhew mentioned the episode of TV show Seinfeld in which the character George does everything the opposite of his usual way in an effort to turn his life around. Perhaps the same kind of thing could work for health care, Rhew suggested.

“Innovation sometimes involves turning things upside down,” said Rhew.

In the context of health care, that can involve putting patients and their communities of friends and family – rather than medical specialists – at the helm of their care. That makes sense, said Rhew, given surveys show that patients who are engaged in their health and treatment have better outcomes.

Connected health solutions can both allow patients to monitor their health on their own, and have better and more convenient communications with health care providers like doctors, noted Rhew.

The doctor welcomed a Samsung colleague to the stage to demonstrate how an at-home patient could monitor his vitals via a web interface and interact via video chat (enabled by GENBAND technology, in this case) with his doctor. The demo also enabled the patient to access information on his blood pressure, weight, etc. via a voice interface. 

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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