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Mathieu Letombe| CEO |Withings

Innovative patient monitoring solution providers are in high demand in today’s modern healthcare environment. To ensure reliability and convenience, Remote Patient Monitoring systems (RPM) are now designed to assist doctors in making informed decisions, reducing variation in care delivery, and lowering costs.

RPM can improve both the quantity and the quality of care. RPM makes doctors’ daily routines more efficient and reduces the risk of burnout by connecting them more directly (and nearly instantly) with essential patient data, leading to apparent advantages to patient care. RPM also improves patient behavior by establishing a structure that encourages people to be more involved in and responsible for their health.

Instead of the standard and common medical technology that many customers envision, effective RPM programs provide patients with technology that is comfortable and familiar to them. This is where Withings comes into the spotlight.

Withings is a world leader in connected health technology. Its team of engineers, data scientists, and healthcare professionals have enthused every day, elegant lifestyle objects with medical and wellness capabilities to efficiently track health vitals.

Under the exemplary leadership of Mathieu Letombe, CEO, Withings has over a decade of expertise in creating elegantly designed medical-grade devices that fit seamlessly into consumer lifestyles. Its range of in-home devices can monitor more than 20 health parameters and are used daily by millions of people worldwide.

The Commencement

Established in 2008, Withings portfolio of devices includes connected scales, hybrid watches, smart thermometers, blood pressure monitors, and sleep trackers to empower individuals to take back control of their health and track medical and wellness data.

In 2019, the company launched a dedicated business-to-business division called Withings Health Solutions to serve the professional healthcare industry better. Withings Health Solutions mission is to take the complications out of running digital health programs, so healthcare professionals can achieve their mission of providing high-quality care to the community.

After more than a decade of manufacturing thoughtful, consumer-friendly connected devices and designing a comprehensive mobile application, Withings Health Solutions strives to go further in supporting the healthcare industry.

To deliver on this mission, the company launched Withings RPM, the most comprehensive solution for providers that have been designed with the patient in mind.

In its journey of taking the complexity away from digital health solutions, Withings has a role to play in the Remote Patient Monitoring space, where solutions can be complicated for different stakeholders.

Continuum of Quality Assurance

Withings has an extensive portfolio of connected health devices and has built the largest connected health ecosystem in the market that comprises smart scales, blood pressure monitors, smartwatches, sleep monitors and thermometers. Its devices capture up to twenty vital health parameters such as blood pressure, ECG, weight, heart rate, activity levels and sleep patterns.

With features designed to encourage continuous day and night-time use, it boasts some of the best user retention rates on the market and is, in fact, the number one smart scale manufacturer in the United States.

For telehealth and remote patient monitoring to be successful for health professionals, they must have access to continuous, reliable, and accurate at-home data that is collected, transmitted, and analyzed in a frictionless, consistent manner. Connected health products have a significant role to play. For optimal results, they must be simple for anyone to use, drive engagement, take medical-grade measurements, be consistently used by patients, and autonomously transmit private, secure data.

Gathering data through connected health devices is one side of the equation. Allowing health professionals to interpret and make use of the data is the other.

The Withings RPM solutions excel by providing data in easy to understand, intuitive dashboards that do not overwhelm physicians while also optimizing their time.

Addressing these factors is the key point of difference for Withings and Withings Health Solutions. Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) is becoming a new standard of care; however, for adoption to happen at scale, the industry needs simple solutions for everybody. That is how Withings Health Solutions stands out in the niche!

Ensuring Reliability at its Core

RPM is about better connecting a patient with their provider. So, there are two parts to the equation. On one side, there is the provider who is eager to provide better care to their patients and drive better outcomes – but who already has a lot on their plate and might not have time to do more, despite wishing to.

On the other side, there is the patient that has been diagnosed with a chronic condition, which may have varying levels of motivation to tackle that condition, and that may or may not want to change their daily routine. Each equation has a different potential solution, but all need and want the same result.

Even though it is very apparent that Digital Health is the future and RPM has proven its efficiency in many distinct aspects: from better health outcomes to increased patient satisfaction and reduced cost of healthcare – when you look at it from this equation angle, you have two stakeholders that might not have the time or the motivation to engage in an RPM program.

Embracing the Innovations

With all innovation comes a curve of adoption, and that’s where Withings RPM has a role to play. Deploying an RPM solution should be extremely straightforward to physicians and require minimum patient effort.

Let us start with the patient, as Withings believes that the patients have to be at the epicentre of all decisions when it comes to digital health. The company has 13+ years of experience in the consumer market.

Withings has spent the last 13 years designing and fine-tuning the user experience of its devices so that people like them, find them easy to use, and use both continuously and for the long term where they find their way into the daily routine. The company knows how to design devices that entice people and motivate them to use them frequently and for a long time.

The device is the backbone of any RPM program; for a program to be successful, it requires data, and for that data to even exist, the patient has to take a measurement. You can build the best monitoring/coaching service out there, yet if your patient does not step on the scale or take a blood pressure reading, the whole thing is useless. Not only are Withings devices consistently used, but their owners love them.

But now, how do Withings make it easy for the provider as well? Simple – by removing any challenging complication that is traditionally associated with RPM.

Withings Health Solutions removes all the known and associated barriers from the onboarding, thanks to its digital assistant; it engages the patients continuously, right from the initial onboarding. Finally, the support team helps proactively by removing any extra effort required from the care team.

 Significant Enrichments in the Healthcare niche

Withings is the world’s first inventor of a connected scale back in 2009.

Since then, Withings has been continuously paving the way for healthcare wearables in launching the first analogue connected watch in 2014; in 2015, the company made pulse wave velocity measurement accessible from home (in Europe). In 2019 we launched the first analogue watch embedding ECG measurement and the first blood pressure with ECG measurement (in Europe).

Its latest product is Body Scan, a connected health station that includes a segmental body composition to give a precise picture of body composition and overall fitness and technology to measure nerve activity in the feet. In addition, Withings Body Scan provides a neuropathy score whereby a low score can signify certain chronic diseases.

Withings remote patient monitoring platform, Withings RPM, will be compatible with all its ecosystem of devices to allow providers to monitor their patients with the broadest array of data points (20+ data points measured with its ecosystem of devices).

A Mesmerizing Journey of an Exemplary Leader

As a longtime tech enthusiast, Mathieu always dreamed of becoming an engineer and leading an innovative tech company. But his career initially took a different path.  After obtaining a bachelor’s degree in robotics at a technical school in Cachan, Mathieu joined Withings in 2011—when the company was still getting off the ground—as its first customer support agent.

As the company grew, he was promoted, leading the customer support team, and building both the customer support and quality teams in France and the United States.

After Nokia acquired Withings in 2016, Mathieu became part of the Nokia Digital Health leadership team as Quality and Customer Service Director. In July 2018, when Eric Carreel reacquired Withings from Nokia, Mathieu was appointed as the General Manager.

Being at the forefront of Withings enabled Mathieu to continue to be dedicated to the company’s vision of creating beautifully designed devices that people can easily incorporate into their daily lives to manage and take control of their health.

Both Withings and Withings Health Solutions are committed to providing patient and professional devices and platforms for delivering ongoing, accurate data for health and fitness.

Pearls of Wisdom

Sharing opinions on the necessity for digital health and wellness smart device developers to align their offerings with the latest technological advances, Mathieu shared, we believe that it is not about aligning with the latest technological advances, but it is rather about

driving technological progress to the benefit of a better patient experience and health outcomes.

Patients are consumers in the other dimensions of their lives. Not only are their needs evolving, but also their expectations regarding the care they are being provided is changing.

Therefore, at Withings, we think we should innovate and continuously improve patient experience and the value we are delivering to them. As innovators, we have been used to putting on the market features that were useful and made sense for the users, and we know that this is just the beginning.

We believe that it is the same with the remote patient monitoring solution. The pandemic accelerated the development of telehealth and showed itself to be a convenient way for patients and health professionals to interact.

To maintain this momentum, telehealth and all digital health solutions need to continue to provide value to both patients and providers. It must be about reducing frictions, integrating seamlessly into clinical workflows, and creating great experiences for the patient.

Words that Inspire

 Advising the budding aspirants willing to venture into the smart health-monitoring device development niche, Mathieu said, “Even if we aim at serving health care professionals and digital health programs, the end-users, the patients, should be at the heart of your design. The industry needs players who focus on the users and who design easy to use and engaging devices that patients will use in the long term.”

“It seems really important to us that those young entrepreneurs try not to innovate too many things for which satisfying solutions exist but focus on what they can do better or differently. Then, building partnerships with key players from the industry is a way to really add value on the market,” he added.

Embracing the Future Roadmap

Expressing his views on the future of the smart health-monitoring devices and apps industry post-pandemic, and strategizing Withings operations in the future, Mathieu expressed, the pandemic was a catalyst to the introduction of smart health-monitoring devices and, more largely new technologies in the healthcare system. Still, it is very unlikely this will stop. Technology will continue to play a role in new ways of healthcare delivery, and we must find the right balance between in-person visits and telehealth.

Tech-enabled solutions can also be a way to enrich the care provided directly from the physician’s office: For example, it could also be an AI-powered solution to better predict disease or be able to analyze trends from homogenous populations.

AI is being utilized in all aspects of technology, including smart medical/fitness devices such as scales, sleep tech and smartwatches. Utilizing data gathered from a patient on an ongoing, regular basis enables the patient and the care provider to determine trends, fluctuations, and possible future outcomes.

AI will continue to be developed and used to prevent and predict health issues and concerns so that medical and health providers can offer advanced medical or fitness plans ahead of conditions becoming an issue.  It goes back to the old saying, ‘prevention is better than cure.’

Apps will always be part of health monitoring; it’s become the norm whether we’re inputting data ourselves or automatically synced to a smart home or wearable device.

As a nation, we like to have information at our fingertips. Fitness tracking will continue to add new abilities to tact activities within apps, and as devices become more medically advanced, it will naturally progress to adding more medically advanced data.

Withings has a range of health and fitness app partners that integrate with our pro devices; additionally, Withings consumer devices can work with 3rd party preferred app providers and our own Health Mate App. The company’s goal is to develop new biomarkers that will help professionals to go further in providing care to their patients and enrich our RPM solution to integrate all these new biomarkers most efficiently.

The Journey Ahead…

A lot of growth levers can be identified for Withings Health Solutions in the upcoming years. The company is constantly working on identifying new biomarkers that will be helpful for better understanding and better care of chronically diseased patients.

Withings Health Solutions is also exploring how to bring more value to its users with the RPM programs. For patients, it lies in providing them with more educational content and supporting the patients in a healthier life. For providers, it stands on enriching the number of chronic diseases they can remotely monitor by integrating new biomarkers in our remote patient monitoring solution.

Withings offer the ability to monitor patients’ sleep data remotely. The company is convinced that from the data it measures, such as the sleep duration, the resting heart rate, the out of bed alerts, many use cases are possible that the company is not yet aware of.

Withings is also looking to engage with partners throughout 2022 and beyond. This year the company has already announced that it is working with Calibrate to improve the integration of digital connectivity and health tracking for sustainable weight loss.

Recognition of Achievements

Since its inception, these testimonials prove that Withings significant and exponential achievements are reaching greater heights.

One Drop: “Teaming up with Withings ensures One Drop employer members have continued access to premium devices, making it easier and more enjoyable to track biometric data like weight and blood pressure.” –  Brian Kemper, SVP of Enterprise Solutions.

Calibrate: “We’re excited to be partnering with Withings, a respected name and pioneer in consumer health, to join us on this mission. Together, we’ll be able to bring metabolic health tracking to a new level by making it effortless and engaging, ultimately driving our north star: real results for our members.”

Rescue MD about our RPM solution: “We found that Withings was the best option because patients don’t have to be hooked up to the Internet, or download an app, and the Withings RPM dashboard was really user friendly. It was a perfect match.” says Dr Olubukola Okoro, Owner of Rescue MD