Two more digital health startups spin out of Samsung's C-Lab

By Jonah Comstock
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Samsung has announced the latest spin-out companies to come through its C-Lab program, and two of the seven are mobile health companies: a phone overlay for people with presbyopia and a glucometer that attaches to a phone and uses its camera to analyze glucose levels.

Samsung Electronics’ C-Lab in South Korea is an internal incubation program that first started in 2012 to help inspire a more creative company culture. If an employee's idea is chosen for C-Lab, they can take up to one year away from their primary job to develop it. The first startups to come out of C-Lab launched last year and included Welt, a smart belt that promises to help the wearer better track their food intake, keep tabs on their activity level, and manage their weight.

“We have provided the support to establish 32 C-Lab alumni startups over the past two years and based on our valuable past experience, we are planning to build up a more profound and actionable program to nurture employees’ ideas and launch new startups,” Jaiil Lee, VP and head of the Creativity and Innovation Center at Samsung Electronics, said in a statement.

According to a YouTube video, Pixelro is designed to help people with presbyopia use their phones. A transparent screen cover sharpens the display, no matter what distance users hold it from their face. A mobile app is also involved. The company says Pixelro "replaces the regular eyeglasses needed to watch content at a short distance and instead uses lens array film and image processing for diopter correction."

1Drop, the other startup spinning out of Samsung, may need to change its name before too long. Not only is there already a digital diabetes management system called One Drop, but there is also a smartphone-based blood lab company called 1Drop Diagnostics.

Samsung's 1Drop is a low-cost glucometer that attaches to the back of a Samsung smartphone. The sensor uses the smartphone's camera and light to do a colorimetric analysis of a blood sample. The company plans to target the Indian market initially and also plans to develop the sensor so it can test for gout and high cholesterol.