Today Nokia completed its acquisition of Withings, a digital health company we have featured several times before on iMedicalApps. Nokia bought Withings for EUR 170 million — a fantastic deal when you see the potential Withings has to reshape digital health.
Withings has come a long way from when we compared their iPhone connected blood pressure cuff to iHealth. That was back in 2011 when their cuff connected directly with the iPhone 3GS. Since then they have made their device wireless and we were fans of Withings bluetooth connected Blood Pressure cuff in our 2015 review.
What’s smart about Withings is they understand the “connected” platform. They have a corporate platform that enables business to connect their employees with smart devices in order to empower them to improve health. They are also working on software algorithms that analyze your health data and can give custom meaningful reports to your physician.
I think the purchase price for Nokia was a steal. I see so much more potential in Withings than a company like Fitbit. Fitbit’s market cap at one point was north of $5 billion — crazy numbers.
Where I can see the Nokia acquisition of Withings failing: If Nokia tries to compete with Fitbit, Apple, Samsung in the smartwatch fitness category. They seriously need to ditch the Activite Steel and any plans of future iterations. Let Fitbit, Jawbone and the rest battle over small margins and a crowded space.
Instead Nokia needs to focus on Withings connected platform and make them more enterprise ready. Amazon is largely successful not because of making individual sales to customers, but because of enterprise web services. That’s where they make great margins.
Nokia has the potential to do the same with Withings if they focus on enterprise level relationships and creating unique algorithms that will engage patients and improve health. They also need to be smart and actually try to validate their algorithms and platforms. In a weird way — they need to focus on the health systems and larger health organizations in order to actually help the individual person.