Old Samsung Galaxy phones are recycled into medical devices


Samsung says the recycling initiative diverts e-waste from landfills to units making medical devices for underserved communities

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Samsung Electronics is recycling its old Galaxy smartphones into healthcare equipment for people underserved people in India, Morocco, Vietnam and Papua New Guinea. Old phones will be remodelled as eyecare equipment to screen patients with eye diseases, the company said in a statement.

When the South Korea handset maker introduced the recycling programme in 2017, it made a handheld camera to enable diagnosis of an internal organ. The smartphone captured images, and the Galaxy device used artificial intelligence (AI) to analyse images for ophthalmic diseases. It then connects to an app that evaluates patient’s data to suggest treatment, Samsung noted.

Samsung says the recycling initiative diverts e-waste from landfills to units making medical devices for underserved communities.

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“People around the globe face barriers to accessing fundamental health care, and we saw an opportunity to engineer smart, innovative solutions that reuse products to drive more sustainable practices and make a positive impact in our communities,” said Sung-Koo Kim, VP of Sustainability Management Office, Mobile Communications Business at Samsung.

The electronics company made a portable retina camera using old smartphones, and used it on over 19,000 resident in Vietnam. It now plans to extend the programme to India, Morocco and Papua New Guinea. The company will also make smartphone-based portable colposcopes to screen for cervical cancer.

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