Samsung’s Venture-Investment Arm Is Beefing up Healthtech Investments – Business Insider

Samsung’s Venture-Investment Arm Is Beefing up Healthtech Investments – Business Insider

  • Samsung’s venture-capital division has been making a diverse series of digital-health investments.
  • Samsung hopes these investments will pave the way for more usage of its devices in healthcare.
  • Key areas for investment are health monitoring, wellness, and at-home testing and care.

Samsung has been investing in digital-health products it hopes will become indispensable in healthcare.

The electronics behemoth dipped its toes into the digital-health space years ago through its wearable devices and health-monitoring app. Samsung has also made moves into the healthcare-device industry with its ultrasound system and digital-radiography devices for healthcare providers.

Now, Samsung is using its venture-investment arm, Samsung Next, to invest in digital-health products in hopes that the growth in Samsung-compatible healthtech products will increase the usage of Samsung products in healthcare. Samsung Next’s healthtech investments offer a window into the tech giant’s plan to enmesh itself into everyday healthcare.

Samsung is making key healthtech investments

Unlike Google with Care Studio or Amazon with Amazon Health, Samsung is trying to get into digital health through a series of investments, rather than by building a service.

At the 2021 Hlth conference in Boston, Jonathan Machado, Samsung Next’s senior investment director, said Samsung viewed its healthtech investments as a next move from its device sales to hospitals and healthcare offices — and a way to compete with its fellow tech giants in healthcare. 

“Think of it as the insight-level partnerships, ideally yielding an acquisition that could be a force multiplier to Samsung’s efforts in this space,” Machado said.

The company is particularly interested in investing in preventive care and wellness

Samsung’s investments in the digital-health space are diverse, with investments including the at-home-urinalysis company, the health-data facilitator Terra, and the digital-fitness company Obé.

A common theme across many of its investments is that they help connect healthcare services, providers, and monitoring with people’s personal devices.

Caroline Rehfuss, an investor at Samsung Next, said one trend in healthcare the venture arm was keeping an eye on was digital-health products that move patient monitoring out of hospitals and doctors’ offices and into people’s homes through personal devices and wearables — like the Samsung watch.

Samsung Next is also particularly interested in investing in preventive care and wellness companies because they see an opportunity to reduce healthcare costs and integrate these aspects of care with wearable technology.

“If I can help manage your diet at home, if I can tap into your Fitbit, Samsung watch app, whatever it is, and learn stuff about you and help you be more active, this is probably the only way it’s going to be a zero-sum game where we can actually save dramatic cost,” Machado said.