Mathieu Letombe, CEO of Withings
Remote Patient Monitoring
By Stephanie Kreml,
With a solid portfolio of connected health devices, Withings is developing services to support remote patient monitoring for the future of cardiac care.
Since its inception in 2008, Withings has dedicated its products to helping consumers manage their health. After Nokia acquired Withings in 2016, Nokia shifted strategies and decided to sell Withings back to co-founder Eric Carreel in 2018. Now Withings is focused on using its expertise with consumers to bring valuable data and insights to physicians.
“When Withings was reacquired from Nokia, we took this mission to the next level by rolling out medical-grade devices that provide analytics and data that help people and their physicians prevent and early-detect serious medical issues,” says Withings CEO Mathieu Letombe.
The company’s deep understanding of consumers leads to one-year retention rates above 90% for all Withings products. Letombe points out, “Our devices — including Move ECG and BPM Core — consistently have long battery lives and sleek, intuitive designs, which make our devices appealing options for consumers of all ages with all tech capabilities.” And he continues, “more than 75% of Withings users still use their products after 3 years.”
Withings suite of products includes connected scales, blood pressure monitors, wearables, and other trackers. All these devices collect over 20 different health data points that physicians and software developers can access through Withings MED PRO platform.
“Withings MED PRO has two divisions,” Letombe explains. “Withings MED PRO DATA allows third-party companies, including researchers, to use Withings products to collect, analyze, and display data for their users within their own software and app environments. Withings MED PRO CARE is a remote patient monitoring platform that allows health professionals and medical institutions to access and manage physiological data of multiple patients.”
The development of the MED PRO platform sets Withings apart from other consumer-focused digital health companies. “From now on, we must concentrate our efforts on developing tools capable of advanced measurements and the associated services that can help prevent chronic conditions,” says Letombe.
More than 75% of Withings users still use their products after 3 years
Withings devices collect over 20 health data points
Withings MED PRO CARE is a remote patient monitoring platform that allows health professionals and medical institutions to access and manage physiological data of multiple patients.
The new Move ECG is the first analog watch tracker to provide ECG readings
Consumer-centric with a health focus
A strong future
New software for physician access
Withings continues to grow its product lines while remaining true to its core principles in elegant design. Letombe elaborates, “Our product portfolio has the most diversified range of connected health devices available. We offer a wealth of options to consumers to allow them to select devices that work best for their lifestyles, habits, and personal health goals.”
Indeed, Withings has devices for every type of consumer. For health-conscious consumers, the Withings Steel HR Sport watch gives users fitness level assessments and multi-sport tracking. And the new Move ECG is the first analog watch tracker to provide ECG readings, giving users a more traditional-looking alternative to other digital trackers.
Withings line of connected scales track several parameters in addition to weight, including BMI, body composition, and heart rate. These scales also have a pregnancy mode to allow expectant mothers to track their weight prenatally and a baby mode to make it easy for new mothers to weigh their infants.
For cardiac patients, Withings products make it even easier to manage their conditions at home. With the introduction of connected scales over a decade ago, Withings pioneered the ability for heart failure patients to conveniently track their weight and see trends.
And while its first wireless blood pressure monitor required a phone app to see the reading, the latest generation of Withings blood pressure monitors are even easier to use. Letombe elaborates, “BPM Connect boasts a compact design and provides highly accurate measurements of heart rate as well as systolic and diastolic blood pressure. With its device display, it also doesn’t require users to have their phone nearby to access reading results, making it a great option for less tech savvy users.”
The new BPM Core monitor collects additional medically relevant information. “BPM Core is the first over-the-counter device able to measure blood pressure, record an ECG, and listen to the heart via a digital stethoscope in one machine, enabling users to detect serious conditions such as atrial fibrillation or valvular heart disease,” says Letombe.
To make it easier for consumers to track their progress for any of their goals, Withings has a smartphone app. “All of our devices connect to the free Withings Health Mate app so they can see their results, view trends, receive advice, and even share results with physicians,” Letombe explains.
“We are at the beginning of what can be created in telemedicine for heart failure patients, specifically for home monitoring of patients with advanced heart failure or during the vulnerable post hospitalization timeframe, to improve patients’ prognostic and quality of life,” says Letombe. “Additionally, I believe there will be new data points and insights that will be monitored by at-home devices, including tracking if a patient's health is declining or improving, based on activity due to lifestyle changes, medications, and more.”
“These expected trends are why at Withings, we are shifting our role in healthcare from purely creating medical-grade devices to also providing services and solutions that address the healthcare system and patient outcomes,” Letombe explains.
Withings will be a company to watch in the coming months. “We have a lot of exciting initiatives planned for the next year including bringing Move ECG and BPM Core to the United States, pending FDA-clearance,” says Letombe. “We also have new devices in the pipeline that we will be announcing at later dates.”
With this foundation, Withings is poised to be a solid player in the remote patient monitoring space.
With its well-established base of connected health devices, the next frontier for Withings is giving data access to physicians and other healthcare entities. “A major focus over the next year will also be on Withings MED PRO, ensuring that physicians, researchers, payers, institutions and more are supported and able to access our portfolio of devices and the analytics they provide to better service their patients and customers,” says Letombe.
To make this a reality, the company created a new software development kit (SDK) so partners can integrate Withings devices into their solutions. So if a payer or healthcare system already has an IT team that has developed web or smartphone applications, this SDK allows that IT team to access data from Withings connected devices seamlessly into those applications through the MED PRO DATA platform.
However, if a smaller group or individual physicians don’t have the resources to develop their own applications, the Withings MED PRO CARE HIPPA compliant remote patient monitoring platform provides easy access to the data on these devices. Its dashboard allows health care professions to visualize and monitor their patients’ health parameters.
And since many patients may not have Wi-Fi access or smartphones, the Withings Data Hub provides direct cellular access to preconfigured devices making it even easier for remote monitoring of health parameters.