Samsung wants to talk about your health at event on May 28

A week after Samsung's event, Apple is expected to launch a health-related mobile app at its Worldwide Developers Conference

Samsung Electronics has sent out invitations to a May 28 event in San Francisco, at which the company is expected to expand its health-related offerings

When vendors send invitations they usually include hints at what they plan to announce, but beyond saying "a new conversation around health is about to begin" Samsung is tight-lipped about what its plans are.

However, trying to make its devices more attractive with health-related functionality is nothing new for Samsung. The company has been offering its S Health app for some time. The latest version has a personal fitness tracker that lets users keep track of diet and exercise data, for example. That, combined with the heart rate sensor in the Galaxy S5 and in Samsung's new wearables, highlights how important the company thinks the area is.

Back in February Samsung also announced the S Health SDK (software development kit), which allows developers to use the health data created by the S Health application. The SDK is still in beta testing and prospective users have to make a partnership request to get access to it. One possible theme for the May 28 event could be Samsung taking advantage of the kit and partnering to make its offerings more attractive and comprehensive.

Samsung's health event comes a week before Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), at which some expect the company to announce a health-related app. The rumored Healthbook app is said to include features related to monitoring blood sugar, blood pressure and nutrition.

Phone manufacturers aren't the only ones who see great potential in health-related apps and services. For example, in March, mobile network operator Vodafone teamed up with pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca to provide mobile health services for improving the treatment of cardiovascular conditions.

Health care is a complicated area when used for clinical treatments, but also one with great potential for societal impact. There are lots of hoops to jump trough related to compliance issues, but that's out of necessity, Matt Hatton, director at Machina Research, said at the time.

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Mikael Ricknäs

IDG News Service
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