Rumor: Samsung Galaxy S IV to launch with mobile health peripheral

By Jonah Comstock
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Samsung Galaxy SIII

Samsung Galaxy SIII

There has been a fair amount of speculation this week based on a report in a Korean publication, first picked up by Android technology blog The Droid Guy, that Samsung's upcoming Galaxy S IV smartphone launch will include the launch of a mobile health peripheral. According to the Korean report, the peripheral device is described in part as a "pad" similar in form factor to a weight scale. The report also claims the device can track and transmit pulse rate and measure blood glucose.

Based on translations by two native Korean speakers, MobiHealthNews has learned that the original Korean report claims that Samsung will provide this health peripheral device without additional charges to those who buy the S IV. Samsung already has a healthcare division and it expects synergy effects between these two parts of its company following this launch.

If true, the rumored device will likely build on Samsung's S Health app launch, which coincided with the device company's Galaxy S III launch last year. S Health connects with a handful of health monitoring devices to track blood pressure, blood sugar, and weight and allows manual entry to track diet, exercise medication adherence. It was launched in several countries including the UK last July, but it didn't find its way to US phones as planned. According to a Samsung spokesperson, S Health is currently only available on the "global" version of the S III device. Mobile operators in the US often strip out some preloaded apps and software and add their own apps, too.

Although Samsung wouldn't confirm it, the lack of a US release might be because the app might require FDA clearance, which it does not appear to have currently. The same reason could certainly keep the new rumored health peripheral from launching here as well.

We won't have to wait too long to see whether the rumored connected health tablet is coming to the United States. The Galaxy S IV is scheduled to launch on March 14, at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.