U-M, Samsung team up to bring advanced smartwatch tech to runners

The gold standard

The University of Michigan Exercise & Sport Science Initiative has launched a research partnership with Samsung Electronics Co. to explore smartwatch technology in an effort to help runners manage their health and physical activity by providing more reliable and accurate data.

The Michigan Performance Research Laboratory — ESSI’s core research lab — will oversee an eight-month study that uses the Galaxy Watch series to estimate the oxygen consumption and sweat loss of participants as they run. The study will compare gold standard data against smartwatch data from both indoor (treadmill) and outdoor running trials of different distances, from 2.5 kilometers to 20 kilometers.

“For the Michigan Performance Research Laboratory, the opportunity to work with Samsung, and leverage the advanced sensors and health and wellness trackers from one of the most-used smartwatches, gives added credibility to our research,” says Ken Kozloff, co-director of ESSI and associate professor of orthopaedic surgery and biomedical engineering.

“It’s exciting to participate in a study that positively impacts our community, and we’ve had an overwhelming response from subjects looking to learn more about themselves that they can apply to their training.”

In addition to Kozloff, co-principal investigators for the study are Adam Lepley and Alexandra DeJong Lempke, both of whom are co-directors of ESSI’s MiPR Lab and clinical assistant professors at the U-M School of Kinesiology.

Researchers at the MiPR Lab have long-established relationships within the wearable tech industry and running community, and bring expertise in sports medicine, running-related injury, performance, wearable tech, and applied/translational research.

The MiPR Lab has previously collaborated with the U-M Athletic Department, multiple professional sports organizations, and industry leaders to derive meaningful insights from wearable technology that can be applied to sport and exercise.

“We are excited to partner with the University of Michigan’s Exercise & Sport Science Initiative —experts in the fields of fitness and sports health — in an effort to bring even more meaningful insights to those runners who rely on the Galaxy Watch series for accuracy and personalized motivation,” says Hon Pak, vice president and head of the digital health team at Samsung.

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