Nokia confident in digital health future despite Q3 write-down


Finnish tech giant Nokia remains confident about its future in the digital health market, despite having to write-down 141 million euros in its third quarter.

Reported by Reuters, the firm sees digital health as a market of major growth opportunity as it faces stern competition to its telecommunications business.  However the write-down means Nokia has downgraded what it believes the business to be worth, reflecting its problems in rebooting its business.

“The charge was taken as we updated our projections for the business,” a Nokia spokesman told Reuters. “Despite the charge, we remain confident in the potential of our digital health business, and believe we have the assets, the brand and the innovation capabilities to succeed.”

Nokia’s biggest move to-date in the digital health sphere was with the purchase of French wearables provider Withings in a deal worth 170 million euros.

The firm then re-launched the former Withings range - which included fitness trackers, ‘smart’ scales, blood pressure monitors, thermometers, and home cameras - under the Nokia brand this summer.

These products feed data into Nokia’s other digital project, the Health Mate app, helping users track aspects of their health like heart condition, sleep and weight.

The firm plans to balance out the 141 million euro write-down through its patent, technology and brand licensing offerings, with one of its biggest patent customers being Apple.

The move reflects ongoing struggles with its digital health business. Earlier this month, the company axed its virtual reality division – a division that was home to around 310 of its roughly 1,090 employee workforce.

The decision saw the end of the road for the firm’s 360o VR camera, the OZO which, despite having potential, carried a hefty price tag of $60,000.

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Marco Ricci

31 October, 2017