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Nokia Making Big Move Into Digital Health, Relaunching Withings As Nokia This Summer

Announced at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) today, Withings, maker of an entire ecosystem of health tracking products (including my favorite fitness tracker) will be relaunching their products as Nokia brand this summer.

Withings became part of Nokia with a deal last year and has been operating as a key part of their Digital Health division. With all the other big moves Nokia is making this weekend, they’re ready to formally relaunch Withings digital health products as Nokia products. Cedric Hutchings, VP of Nokia Digital Health, had this to say about the relaunch:

“Nokia is a powerful global brand that is synonymous with innovation, connectivity and great design. Withings joined Nokia because we share a vision to inspire individuals to take control of their own health. With the full power of a brand recognized for trust, reliability and quality, we will reach more people and impact more lives to help the human family be healthier together.”

A big part of  the relaunch is an updated Health Mate app that makes it even easier to get all your vital data (hopefully it won’t be too radical of a redesign – personally, I think the timeline display on their current app does a fine job of keeping you abreast of what your numbers are looking like). From the one mockup provided, it appears that there will be a daily summary at the top of your feed, a welcome addition. Adding devices will be easier as well, as will sharing your progress with family members (which, y’know, could cut both ways).

The current app can be a little overwhelming with its data, the redesign should help that. (Image Credit: Anthony Karcz)

The current app can be a little overwhelming with its data, the redesign should help that. (Image Credit: Anthony Karcz)

One feature that will be rolling out with the Health Mate redesign is coaching programs. Speaking with Cedric Hutchings, it was clear that the goal is to move users past tracking their numbers and actually doing something to actively improve them. The customizable coaching programs will be 8-week sessions, personalized based on individual user data. Nokia has fitness and medical professionals crafting the coaching programs to provide users with real results. If coaching is well-implemented, it could be a game changer for Nokia. Digital coaching via app is available; but only with expensive specialized hardware. If your digital scale and fitness tracker also came with personalized advice from a fitness coach or nutritionist, that instantly puts Nokia devices ahead of its competitors. More details about coaching weren’t available with today’s announcement; but as we get closer to launch, I’ll hopefully have more to share.

Nokia will also launch their HIPAA-compliant Patient Care Platform with the relaunch. This platform is already in use in clinical studies in the UK and in trials in the US. It’s meant to give doctors a holistic view of their patient’s health, providing access to a much larger range of data to examine than they could ever get from individual office visits. Clinicians can remotely monitor patients’ data as they self-monitor using Nokia products (such as the Body Cardio scale and Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor). In the US study, they found that participation in the program increased patient compliance – and not just in monitoring, but with other clinician orders. Personally, I’m not surprised – there’s a big difference between telling a doctor that you’ll do something to improve your numbers and then not seeing them for six weeks and knowing that they’ll be keeping an eye on what your numbers do on a daily basis. Self-collected user data is a treasure trove of information that clinicians can use to help improve their patients’ health and it’s exciting to see Nokia harness it.

The Nokia rebranded devices will be available early this summer at all retail outlets that Withings devices are currently found.


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