Nokia Acquires Digital Health Company

by Matt Klassen on April 29, 2016

Nouveau-Logo-WithingsTake note Blackberry, there is life after complete and utter mobile collapse, as with the announcement that it was acquired digital health services Withings, Finnish tech giant Nokia continues to radically reinvent itself as a network infrastructure, IoT and data services firm.

To that end, health services stands as one of the largest vertical markets for the growing Internet of Things, and Nokia is hoping that with this $191 million purchase of the French firm it will be able to secure a competitive spot on the ground floor of the burgeoning digital health industry.

“Withings shares our vision for the future of digital health and their products are smart, well designed and already helping people live healthier lives,” said Ramzi Haidamus, president of Nokia Technologies. “Combining their award-winning products and talented people with the world-class expertise and innovation of Nokia Technologies uniquely positions us to lead the next wave of innovation in digital health.

But let’s not kid ourselves, for although the digital health services market is on the cusp of a growth explosion (and while that’s great for companies like Nokia), the fact of the matter is that it’s a fairly damning critique of us as a human race.

As Nokia wrote in its press release, the “World Health Organization figures show cardiovascular disease as today’s number one cause of death, with more than a billion adults around the world living with uncontrolled hypertension. Diabetes now affects more than one in twelve adults worldwide, a four-fold increase since 1980.”

That means that healthcare will stand as one of the largest markets in the digital world, offering innumerable opportunities for IoT connectivity and digital evolution, and it’s the reason Withings was created in the first place.

“Since we started Withings, our passion has been in empowering people to track their lifestyle and improve their health and wellbeing,” said Cédric Hutchings, CEO of Withings. “We’re excited to join Nokia to help bring our vision of connected health to more people around the world.

Granted Withings is relatively small potatoes when it comes to digital health companies, but its established brand of products, including a variety of smart health devices like weight scales, fitness trackers, baby monitors, blood pressure monitors, and thermometers, gives Nokia expertise it needs to expand these services globally. Add to that a suite of compatible apps, and Withings health ecosystem will benefit Nokia greatly.

“We have said consistently that digital health was an area of strategic interest to Nokia, and we are now taking concrete action to tap the opportunity in this large and important market,” said Rajeev Suri, president & CEO of Nokia. “With this acquisition, Nokia is strengthening its position in the Internet of Things in a way that leverages the power of our trusted brand, fits with our company purpose of expanding the human possibilities of the connected world, and puts us at the heart of a very large addressable market where we can make a meaningful difference in peoples’ lives.”

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