Having acquired Alcatel-Lucent (News - Alert), Nokia has continued its expansion with the recent conclusion of its purchase of healthcare solutions provider Withings. This provides Nokia a prominent position in the exploding digital healthcare services markets around the world.
With the Withings acquisition, first revealed on April 26—Nokia (News - Alert) now has a complete digital health business unit, which will be led by Withings' former CEO Cedric Hutchings. Hutchings will report to Nokia Technologies president Ramzi Haidamus. He will continue to be responsible for a comprehensive portfolio which addresses the needs of several new digital health trends. These include, activity tracking systems, scales that perform smart body analysis—because the whole body mass index (BMI) thing just isn't doing the job—blood pressure monitors and more.
Commenting on the deal, Haidamus noted: “This is the beginning of an exciting new chapter in the history of Nokia Technologies as we extend our product portfolio to include a series of powerful digital health technologies. The Nokia brand is synonymous with innovation, connectivity and consumer technology and the acquisition of Withings puts us in a perfect position to capitalize on the huge opportunity in the health space. We're excited to welcome the Withings team to the Nokia family.”
The opportunities in the space are clear. With large portions of the planet approaching or pushing into retirement age, mobile and digital health in particular are posed for big gains because digital services represent potential cost savings for healthcare providers along with providing enhanced patient care. For example, hospitals will be able to send patients home to recover while providing round the clock remote monitoring and telemedicine consultation.
When it comes to deciding how best to address growth opportunities there is always the issue of doing so via organic capabilities, through partnerships or via the acquisition route. Given how vast the digital healthcare services market opportunity is projected to be, acquisition in this case was seen as the best and fastest way for Nokia to establish itself as a major player going forward.
Edited by Peter Bernstein