S Health relaunches as Samsung Health, adds telemedicine integration and more

By Jonah Comstock
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As it launched its Galaxy S8 and S8+ phones, Samsung also quietly announced the re-invention of its S Health app as "Samsung Health". The added features were rumored back in January. Samsung Health includes the tracking and social features that were in S Health previously, but adds a slew of new features and a new user interface.

The app is at least part of the somewhat mysterious partnership American Well and Samsung announced at HIMSS. Samsung's most-touted feature, called "Ask an Expert", allows users to connect, via video, to a board-certified doctor. The cost per visit is $59 without insurance, the same price American Well charges, and the app also includes realtime insurance verification.

It seems clear from both American Well's previous comments and yesterday's Samsung press release that Ask an Expert will tap into American Well's Exchange feature to allow users to see a variety of doctors at institutions that use American Well. The release states that "AAE’s network contains more than 1,200 board certified licensed physicians with an average of 10-15 years of clinical experience".

"This isn’t telemedicine, this is a connected healthcare ecosystem,” American Well CEO and President Dr. Roy Schoenberg told MobiHealthNews at HIMSS. “And we’ve been building up so that is bigger than anything we have done, and what Samsung is saying is, ‘I’m not going to build healthcare on my product, I’m going to tap into that ecosystem and open the door through technology that touches a lot of people.'”

In addition to the telemedicine features, Samsung Health includes access to lifestyle, food, and fitness trackers; a step leaderboard to compete with friends; a "Discover" feature for health content (which, if rumors from January are true, could come from WebMD); integration with connected health devices; and rewards for signing up with Ask an Expert or Health Insights, a feature that adds analytics and coaching to Samsung's health trackers.

The app will be available on all devices that run Android 4.4 and higher, though some older devices and devices in certain countries may not have access to all features.