Nokia set to relaunch Withings' connected device line under Nokia brand, adds coaching to app

By Heather Mack
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Nokia is set to launch the rebranded Withings suite of consumer digital health tools this summer, including connected scales, blood pressure monitors, thermometers and activity trackers, which will all be under the Nokia name. At the same time, the company will debut the Patient Care Platform for chronic condition management and release an updated version of the Health Mate app, altogether rounding out the former phone company’s first delivery to the digital health market since acquiring Withings, a move that came shortly after they first announced they were eyeing the industry a little less than a year ago.

“This is what we have been working towards for last several months. We’re ready to travel to the mobile world,” Cedric Hutchings, Nokia’s VP of Digital Health, told MobiHealthNews in an interview. “It’s a completion of our acquisition and it’s a realization of what has been a shared vision of who we are in digital health. Now it’s really clear and consistent that we have come to users to the market under a single brand, and in doing so, we are moving a step further with the application and platform.”

The Health Mate app aims to provide users a holistic view of their health by collecting data from all the connected devices, and the big upgrade will now feature coaching.

“Health Mate already does track vitals, but we’ve redesigned it to generate new insights and make it easier to find devices, and we also took it a step further to build an in-site behavioral change program, which is really bringing the user experience forward,” said Hutchings.

The Patient Care Platform has been tested in a few places in Europe and is currently in use at the UK’s National Health Service in a 69,000-person study on remote monitoring for hypertension, and it has also been used by the American Medical Group Association in a 150-person study examining the role of self-measurement in helping patients lower their blood pressure The HIPAA-compliant platform integrates the full Nokia portfolio of connected devices to provide near-real-time data to patients and their healthcare clinicians to help support diagnosis, manage or prevent chronic illness, and ultimately deliver targeted care. It also syncs with the Health Mate App.

The products aren’t entirely new, of course. The company launched the connected scale and a smart, FDA-cleared thermometer under Withings last June, and also indicated they would look beyond the direct to consumer space with the announcement of a project with Helsinki University Hospital to develop remote patient monitoring solutions.

Since then, Hutchings said, the company has conducted research to gauge consumer awareness and readiness for Nokia as a digital health company.

“We’ve been quite comprehensive,” he said. “It is a very important and visible moment, and we are realizing very concretely that we are staying as a single and unified company.”

The connected devices will be available starting early summer 2017 on Nokia’s website and major retail channels including Amazon, Best Buy (US and Canada), Bed Bath & Beyond, and Target, and the redesigned Health Mate app will launch at the same time.