By Roger Fingas
Monday, January 16, 2017, 11:03 am PT (02:03 pm ET)
Samsung’s next flagship phone, the Galaxy S8, could include a new S Health app with features above and beyond Apple’s HealthKit and CareKit —including the ability to schedule online consultations with doctors, or even pay medical fees.
Video appointments with doctors should be available around the clock, SamMobileclaimed on Monday. The option will reportedly stem from partnerships with companies like Amwell and WebMD, which should also let people hunt for information on symptoms, illnesses, and medications.
The patient-doctor focus is expected to extend down to appointment details, letting people save symptoms, photos, and prescriptions, and rate doctors as well as pay them. People could flag whether or not they have insurance.
More minor features may include the ability to find local pharmacies, or dial 911 without switching to the phone app.
While offering activity and biometrics tracking like Apple’s Health app, S Health is intended to be even more comprehensive, letting people track nutrition and get fitness tips, to the extent of suggesting exercise programs like building up to a 5K run.
The rumored new features are most similar to CareKit, which Apple introduced for iOS devices just last year. Apple’s platform, though, is aimed strictly at letting people track their treatment and share that information with physicians. Last week, the company announced a partnership with Tresorit to improve encryption.
While the S Health update is expected to debut alongside the Galaxy S8 —which could be announced at Mobile World Congress in late February —SamMobile suggested that the timing isn’t certain.