Samsung and UCSF introduce My BP Lab, a smartphone app for blood pressure and stress research

By Laura Kurtzman

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. and the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) have announced the launch of My BP Lab, a jointly developed smartphone research app to help users monitor their blood pressure and stress levels and obtain personalized insights for improving their daily health.

My BP Lab leverages an innovative optical sensor available on the Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+, announced today, to provide users with richer, more accurate information about their health status. This optical sensor is built into the device, and allows blood pressure to be directly measured by the smartphone without any external hardware.

Users joining a program led by UCSF researchers will receive personalized, on-demand information regarding their stress and blood pressure levels throughout the day. One aim of the study is to optimize My BP Lab to provide contextualized and scientifically informed feedback, so users will be able to gain a better understanding of their stress and blood pressure levels and manage their health more effectively. The study also further improves the accuracy of the blood pressure readings, by gathering data from thousands of users in real-world settings.

“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.”

Users who open the My BP Lab app will be invited to join a three-week UCSF research study that will track stress and how emotions experienced throughout the day affect your wellbeing. Participants will report on their behavior, including sleep, exercise, and diet, and will use the smartphone’s sensor to make blood pressure measurements throughout the day. Participants could learn, for example, what day of the week their stress levels were the highest, or how their sleep quality affected their blood pressure levels in the morning.

“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.”

My BP Lab will be available to download from the Google Play Store on March 15. The program is available for users in the United States who are eighteen years of age or older.

Further coverage

About Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd

Samsung inspires the world and shapes the future with transformative ideas and technologies. The company is redefining the worlds of TVs, smartphones, wearable devices, tablets, digital appliances, network systems, and memory, system LSI, foundry and LED solutions. For the latest news, please visit the Samsung Newsroom at

About UCSF Psychiatry

The UCSF Department of Psychiatry and the Langley Porter Psychiatric Institute are among the nation's foremost resources in the fields of child, adolescent, adult, and geriatric mental health. Together they constitute one of the largest departments in the UCSF School of Medicine and the UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences, with a mission focused on research (basic, translational, clinical), teaching, patient care and public service.

UCSF Psychiatry conducts its clinical, educational and research efforts at a variety of locations in Northern California, including UCSF campuses at Parnassus Heights, Mission Bay and Laurel Heights, UCSF Medical Center, UCSF Benioff Children's Hospitals, Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center, the San Francisco VA Health Care System and UCSF Fresno.

About the UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences

The UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences, established by the extraordinary generosity of Joan and Sanford I. "Sandy" Weill, brings together world-class researchers with top-ranked physicians to solve some of the most complex challenges in the human brain.

The UCSF Weill Institute leverages UCSF’s unrivaled bench-to-bedside excellence in the neurosciences. It unites three UCSF departments—Neurology, Psychiatry, and Neurological Surgery—that are highly esteemed for both patient care and research, as well as the Neuroscience Graduate Program, a cross-disciplinary alliance of nearly 100 UCSF faculty members from 15 basic-science departments, as well as the UCSF Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases, a multidisciplinary research center focused on finding effective treatments for Alzheimer’s disease, frontotemporal dementia, Parkinson’s disease, and other neurodegenerative disorders.

About UCSF

UC San Francisco (UCSF) is a leading university dedicated to promoting health worldwide through advanced biomedical research, graduate-level education in the life sciences and health professions, and excellence in patient care. It includes top-ranked graduate schools of dentistry, medicine, nursing and pharmacy; a graduate division with nationally renowned programs in basic, biomedical, translational and population sciences; and a preeminent biomedical research enterprise. It also includes UCSF Health, which comprises top-ranked hospitals – UCSF Medical Center and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals in San Francisco and Oakland – and other partner and affiliated hospitals and healthcare providers throughout the Bay Area.