Mobile phone company Nokia is diversifying into the regulated health sector with the launch of Patient Care, a range of services that will enable doctors and health professionals to remotely monitor their patients with smart devices.
The aim is help patients manage chronic conditions, reducing the number of outpatient appointments they need to attend and avoiding exacerbations that require emergency treatment in hospital.
The new service builds in part on a trial that Nokia is running in collaboration with the National Health Service in the UK involving 69,000 participants. The aim is to improve understanding of hypertension and test the feasibility of remote monitoring to reduce hypertension rates.
Devices that will be integrated in the Patient Care platform to improve patient monitoring include wireless thermometers, smartwatches, activity trackers and smart devices for measuring blood pressure and body cardio scale, a measure of weight, body:fat percentage and heart rate.
Nokia also intends to incorporate cognitive computing technologies in wearable voice-activated tools that respond to simple commands and provide reminders to take medication.
The company began its move into health in May 2016, when it completed the acquisition of Withings, a French consumer health devices company, for €170 million. Nokia will now rebrand Withings’ devices as part of its move into regulated healthcare.
Following the purchase of Withings, in July 2016, Nokia formed a partnership with Helsinki University and Helsinki University Hospital (HUS) in which it is developing technologies for the remote monitoring of neurology patients.
The Department of Neurology at HUS, the largest neurology centre in Finland specialises in the diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of patients suffering diseases of the brain, spinal cord, peripheral nervous system and muscles. Over 14,000 patients visit the outpatient clinic every year, and it is hoped the collaboration will enable input from clinicians and patients to improve the quality and effectiveness of Nokia’s remote patient monitoring technologies, while driving meaningful patient outcomes.