Nest, which is currently owned by Google, is one of the businesses that is considering making an offer to purchase the struggling health section of Nokia.
According to a report in Les Echos, Nest will face competition from a minimum of three other businesses, two of which will be based in France. It would appear that the French government has been exerting pressure on Nokia to sell to a French bidder. This may be in part owing to the efforts that France is making to strengthen its position in the artificial intelligence industry. On the other hand, it is said that Google is thinking about starting a business in the fitness and health market.
In the month of February, Nokia published a brief press statement in which it stated that it has begun an investigation into the various strategic options available for its Digital Health company. This is the section of the corporation that is responsible for the production of additional wearables, such as smartwatches and scales. At the time, the insider got a copy of a stolen memo that said the company was thinking about giving up on the whole project.
Kathrin Buvac, Nokia’s chief strategy officer, recently told the company’s employees that the company’s electronic health care division is having trouble scaling and meeting the growth goals that were set for it.
“We shouldn’t just fall in love with our equipment,” Buvac said. “We should be honest with ourselves.”
“At the moment, we do not see a way for [the virtual health sector] to become a significant element of a firm that is as huge as Nokia,”
This acknowledgement of failure comes a little over a year and a half after the Finnish tech giant bought Withings for a cool €170 million. This French company was one of the first to pioneer the industry of wearable technology and has given us many useful innovations, including the first linked scale. Nokia’s main goal since the purchase was finished has been to improve the Withings line of smart health products.
Late in the year 2017, Nokia made the announcement that it intended to move its attention away from virtual reality (VR) and toward digital health that focuses on health and fitness. Because of this, we were left with the feeling that it would expand upon its fitness-related offerings. This was seen at the most recent Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2018), when the Finnish company added a sleep tracking pad to its lineup of fitness and health products.
The Nokia Sleep, which has just recently been made available to the public, is the successor of the Withings Aura. A device that can help you get better rest by discretely fitting under your mattress and working in the background.
However, Nokia has seen its fair share of challenges as a result of the Withings acquisition. Late in January, the firm made the announcement that it would no longer provide the Pulse Wave Velocity (PWV) metric on its most advanced Body Cardio scale. Pressure wave velocity (PWV) is a measurement used to assess arterial stiffness as well as the pace at which pressure waves travel along the vessels. The scale, which has been hailed as revolutionary, includes readings and ratings as well as an evaluation. It would appear that Nokia was confronted with regulatory concerns in the United States, and the company concluded that the easiest way to move forward was to just remove the feature. It is safe to say that the current buyers of the scale just weren’t overly pleased with the situation.
Moreover, Nokia declared a charge of 141 million euros a few months ago because of “the impairment of goodwill associated with its virtual healthcare business.” This is a significant development. This means that Nokia has written off the vast bulk of the value of its Withings acquirement in English. It is abundantly obvious that the company’s Digital Health product sales have not been successful in meeting the growth aspirations of the corporation.
The report from Los Echos suggests that by the end of this month, we might learn the identity of the successful bidder. It should come as no surprise that the potential bidders are proposing a sum that is far lower than the price that the telecommunications giant spent to acquire Withings. If the sale goes through, it will bring an end to Nokia’s brief foray into the digital health industry, which the company has found to be unprofitable.