Nokia creates digital health business after closing Withings buy

Nokia created a new digital health business following the completion of its previously announced acquisition of France-based Withings, bringing a new range of digital health products including activity trackers to the Finland-based group.

The new unit will combine former Withings employees with experts from the preventive health and patient care teams at Nokia Technologies, and will be led by former Withings CEO Cédric Hutchings.

The product range includes activity trackers, smart body analyser scales, thermometers, blood pressure monitors, home and baby monitors, with more smart products expected to arrive in future.

Hutchings said Withings was launched in 2008 to explore the possibilities provided by the Internet of Things (IoT).

"We've been impressed with the plans the Nokia team has shared with us both for preventive health and patient care. As soon as we close the deal, we can start working together to determine our way forward as one team with a broad but focused portfolio of incredible products and innovations," Hutchings said.

The new digital health head will report to Ramzi Haidamus, who is president of Nokia Technologies.

"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," said Haidamus.

Nokia Technologies was created as a technology licensing division following the sale of Nokia's mobile device business to Microsoft in April 2014.

Much has changed since then, however: not only has Nokia Technologies established a digital health and a digital media unit, it also regained the rights to sell smartphones and feature phones under the Nokia brand.

Nokia has now granted a new Finnish company called HMD Global an exclusive worldwide licence to make Nokia-branded handsets and tablets for the next decade.

When Nokia sold its mobile phone business to Microsoft, the U.S.-based company bought the rights to the Nokia brand on feature phones for a decade, and on smartphones for 30 months. Microsoft is now selling HMD the right to use the Nokia brand on feature phones, while the smartphone licensing period has expired.

For more:
- see the Nokia release
- see this post by Withings CEO Cédric Hutchings

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