Samsung offers a lot of tools, many of which you probably just ignore. Health is one of the tools you should probably take a closer look at, however, because it’s actually really useful.
What is Samsung Health?
Samsung Health is the company’s take on fitness tracking. Health is absolutely loaded with features, many of which will prove useful to most people, and others to only the most dedicated. And the best part: it’s not just available for Samsung phones. You can install Health from the Play Store on most Android phones.
Samsung Health is more than just a glorified step or calorie tracker. It can track your weight, calorie intake/burn, steps, runs, heart rate, stress levels, caffeine intake, blood pressure, sleep, blood glucose, bike rides, hikes, and a lot more.
And that’s just on the first page.
Before we get too far down this rabbit hole, it’s worth nothing that not all features are available on all smartphones. So, while you can install it on a wide range of Android phones, not every phone can take advantage of things like hear rate monitoring, which is enabled by the hardware on the Samsung Galaxy lineup.
With that, let’s talk about everything it can do.
The Samsung Health Main Page: “Me”
Health’s main page is where you’ll start with the app, as well as where you’ll likely spend most of your time. It can be a bit overwhelming at first, but you’ll get used to it quickly.
I’ve already spent some time customizing my Health app, so yours may look a little bit different. But the general gist is something like this:
Weight management and the built-in step counter are front and center here, because those features are likely going to be why most people use the app. But down below you’ll find all sorts of other useful stuff, as well as a way to customize the layout and what items are tracked.
The bottom parts of the main screen show all the extra stuff—tapping the “Manage Items” button brings up everything you can add. Pick and choose what works for you, and that info will show up on the main screen.
It’s worth noting that some of the things here don’t use the phone to get their data—like blood pressure or glucose, for example. This feature assumes you have a third party monitor to track this particular data, and then you input it to your Health app manually. It’s also likely that you can find apps that work with external devices (like blood pressure monitors) and also sync with the Health app so you can track things more automatically.
The Other Stuff: Together, Experts, and Discovery
While you’ll spend most of your time fiddling with things on the “Me” page, there are other useful features tucked into the other pages. Here’s a breakdown of what to expect with each.
The Together Page
If the main page—the Me page—is all about tracking your individual stats, the Together page is all about comparing your steps and whatnot to literally everyone else.
If you like the idea of making a game of your steps, then you’ll like this page. It’s really just harmless fun—a way to motivate you to take more steps. You can opt into global challenges and the like to push yourself a little bit more.
Or, like me, you can just ignore this page altogether.
The Experts Page
This tab is the most interesting feature in the Health app—and it’s also one that’s exclusive to Galaxy S9 and Note 8 users.
The options on this page connect you with doctors for urgent care, therapy/psychiatry, and even specialty care visits—all from your phone. It’s wild.
You sign up for this feature with all the same info you’d use at a brick and mortar doctor’s office: name, phone number, health insurance information, pharmacy, medical history, current medications, and all the other pertinent information that a medical provider may need to treat you.
I ran through as much of the process as I could before having to actually see a provider, and it was relatively simple. The app didn’t have my health insurance provider listed, so I’m not sure if that means they don’t participate of if I’d have to add them some other way. It also listed the cost at $59 “before insurance” for a visit.
The Discover Page
Finally, there’s the Discover tab, which is basically just a collection of health-related articles if you’re into that sort of thing. There isn’t really anything more to say about that.
Everything Else: Programs, Partner Apps, and More
Then there’s all the other stuff. Tucked into the menu, you’ll find access to so much more, including fitness programs, partner apps, compatible access, and promotions. Here’s a closer look.
This is where you’ll find fitness programs to help along your fitness journey. I honestly wish this was more of a front-and-center feature instead of one tucked behind another menu button, because it’s really pretty awesome.
You can find new workout routines, weight loss tips, training exercises, and other related information. You can also set your fitness interests and goals so the app can better curate these programs to your specific goals and needs. It’s cool.
If you’re already into fitness, you probably have an app (or collection of apps) that you use to keep up with your goals. Good news: many of these are compatible with Samsung Health and can be connected to the Health app for automatic importing of workouts, steps, calorie info, and more.
For example, if you use MyFitnessPal to track your calories, you can connect it to Health. Or if you’re an Endomondo user, connect it to automatically import your workouts. There are an absolute slew of compatible apps, so the odds are if you use, it’s there. The main app I couldn’t find was Strava, which is a truly odd omission given its popularity in the cycling and running community.
But everything else I looked for was there.
If you’re in the market for a new wearable, sensor, blood pressure monitor, glucose meter, heart rate sensor, or scale and want to make sure it’s compatible with Health, this is the menu for you.
This takes all the accessories that are compatible with Samsung Health and breaks them down into categories, making it easy for you find exactly what you’re looking for. It’s definitely not necessary that you run out and get new accessories just because you start using the Health app, but if you need a particular kind of monitor or device anyway, why not get a compatible one?
Finally, there’s the Promotions page. This is where you can learn about new products and apps that are compatible with Samsung Health, as well as find deals on other services.
There isn’t a lot going on here right now, to be honest.
Samsung’s Health app is full featured and all-encompassing if you’re into tracking your fitness and other aspects of your health life. Even if you’re not a Samsung user, it’s definitely worth checking out. There’s a lot under its hood—especially for the low price of nothing.