Samsung, UCSF launch smartphone app to research blood pressure, stress

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Samsung and the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) have announced a jointly developed smartphone app for research into blood pressure and stress monitoring.

The app, called My BP Lab, is set to launch March 15 on the Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ through the Google Play Store. Using the optical sensor within the user’s smartphone, the app measures blood pressure without a need for an additional device. The app aims to collect user data on blood pressure and stress levels to optimize its ability to provide personalized insights into user health.

“At Samsung, we have a firm commitment to the health and well-being of our users,” said Peter Koo, senior VP and leader of the health service team at Samsung Electronics. “That’s why we developed a revolutionary optical sensor in the Galaxy S9 and S9+. We are pleased to be partnering with UCSF to utilize this sensor and contribute to research that will provide our users with crucial and meaningful feedback about their health.”

When first using the app, users will be invited to join a three-week UCSF research study that will track how stress and emotions affect the user’s health. Participants in the study will then provide a record of their daily behavior, including sleep, exercise and diet, while the app collects data on blood pressure.

“This study could provide the largest dataset yet on stress, daily emotional experiences, and blood pressure,” said Wendy Berry Mendes, PhD, a professor of psychiatry at UCSF and the director of the Emotion, Health and Psychophysiology Lab. “Our partnership with Samsung could help people all over the world improve their health by managing stress.”

Participants will then be provided with personalized information complied by UCSF researcher on their stress levels and blood pressure. Researchers hope the study will proved contextualized and scientifically informed feedback for the optimization of the My BP Lab app and give users a better view into their daily health.