Big News Week In Digital Health And Wellness

April 27, 2016

Normally, the Wellable blog would address the newsworthy events below in separate posts, but so many announcements have come out in the last week that we felt it was only appropriate to combine them all into one fun blog post.  Enjoy!

Nokia To Acquire Withings
Nokia Technologies will acquire French connected health device maker (and Wellable partner) Withings for $191 million (170 million euros).  Withings makes smartphone-connected weight scales, blood pressure cuffs, activity trackers, and thermometers that are marketed directly to consumers.  In November 2015, Fossil acquired Misfit.  Both these acquisitions highlight how large organizations perceive digital health – as a large and growing market opportunity.  This bodes well for employee wellness programs that want to leverage consumer technologies in their program.  Nokia and others will improve the technologies and distribution of wearable devices, making them available to the masses.  Employers will eventually be able to completely avoid having to buy devices for their employees because they will already own one. Launches Verywell
Not long ago, we wrote about how individuals placed ease-of-use ahead of trust when it came to choosing online health sites.  This was despite having clear opinions on the trustworthiness of different sources.  Recognizing the opportunity in health content and how optimizing ease-of-use would require building a dedicated solution, unveiled its first standalone brand in the form of Verywell, a site for information around health.  Verywell will launch with more than 50,000 pieces of content ranging from common medical conditions like diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis to simple health tips like how to get more sleep or advice on fitness.  Whether employers like it or not, consumer health content from Verywell, WebMD, and other sites continue to be the sources of choice for their employees.  To ensure their employees are getting accurate and helpful information, employers should leverage these sources by sharing appropriate content from these sites with employees in a user friendly manner.  We suggest text messaging.

Swarm Allows Private Check-Ins
Swarm (also a Wellable partner) launched a new feature that will let users check in to locations without sharing that location with their group of friends.  This feature is very important to Wellable users because there are a number of ways to track steps, mileage, nutrition, and more, but very few ways to track going to the gym, yoga studio, or other healthy location.  To track these types of activities, users either need to log the activity manually, which is what they were doing 10 years ago, or have a mobile solution that recognizes where they are for easy check ins.  Up until now, the best tool for checking in (Swarm) required users to share this information with friends, which is a bit of a turnoff.  Now employees can easily track their healthy locations without having to share this information with others.

Topics: Wellness

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