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With Health+, Withings is stepping into the subscription economy


At the IFA in Berlin, Withings unveiled Body Comp, a new connected impedance meter scale, but also Health+, a health analysis service accessible by subscription. A turning point for the French connected health specialist.


Body Comp, the new body evaluation scale from Withings, coupled with Health+, a health analysis service.

© Withings

Four years after being taken over by Eric Carreel, one of its founders, Withings continues its return to the front of the stage, with a new product presented at the IFA in Berlin. In the German capital, the former tricolor flagship of connected objects unveiled Body Compa new connected impedance meter scale, which expands a range already made up of three models (Body, Body+ and Body Cardio).

Beyond the innovations embodied in the machine, which will be marketed from October 4 at €209.95, it is the premium service coupled with which marks a turning point in Withings’ strategy. Indeed, the French brand inaugurates Health+, a health analysis service that adds functionality to the Withings Health Mate application. This is essential for taking advantage of forecasts, trends, and historical data for Vascular Age, Pulse Wave Velocity, and Standing Heart Rate measurements, as well as Nerve Health Score. .

It’s not a fitness service, it really is a health service.

Mathieu Letombe, CEO of Withings

With this new service, accessible by subscription but exclusively coupled for the moment to Body Comp with 12 months free, Withings intends to push the support it provides to its users even further. “It’s not a fitness service, it really is a health service. We don’t want you to lose weight to make you look better, we want you to lose weight to be healthier“, assures Mathieu Letombe, CEO of Withings.

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In this sense, the company wants to position Health+ as a virtual partner for users to adopt healthier behaviors. “The user does not always have the keys to understanding his data. The different measures need to be explained, and the user must be supported to tell him how to act on his body in order to achieve his objectives”, explains Mathieu Letombe. In this sense, the French company has developed six-week modules focused on physical activity, sleep, stress management and nutrition, “because that’s about how long it takes for someone to change their behavior and routine”says the leader.

A new line of income

If this new premium service is beneficial for the body of Withings customers, it is also beneficial for the finances of the connected health specialist. “Subscription adds a revenue line, while we have an ecosystem of products with incredible retention. 50% of people who bought a scale from us 10 years ago are still using it today. we have 1 million new users a year who spend money with us, and buy a product”, says Mathieu Letombe. In this context, Health+ could thus become a new hen with golden eggs for the French start-up.

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In addition, if the Body Comp connected scale will put Health+ into orbit, the service is intended to be extended to other products of the French brand, starting with the Body Scan connected health station, which should be marketed in January 2023. in Europe. “After Body Comp, Body Scan and smartwatches will be the natural evolution. But first we want to see how the service is received by our users. It already uses activity data from our watches, it’s just that we haven’t made it accessible to watch users. If someone has Body Comp and one of our watches, their activity information will be taken into account by the service brick”specifies the CEO of Withings.

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A lever in B2B

The icing on the cake, Health+ is also a lever for progress in the B2B segment. “Our B2B division works with health systems, which support hundreds of thousands of patients with our products. We are considering offering this brick of services to health systems. Because with better correlation between the different data, alerts will be more smart for doctors”, exposes Mathieu Letombe. The leader is also considering insurers: “We are already in discussions with some so that they can offer the service to their policyholders. They are convinced that they will have a return on investment, since their policyholders will be in better health. They will probably even give them a balance .”

If this strategy bears fruit, it will then make a strong contribution to Withings’ growth in B2B, a segment which currently represents between 15% and 20% of the company’s turnover. The stated objective is to increase this share to 50% of revenues in the coming years. In the eyes of Mathieu Letombe, the range of possibilities will expand considerably with this brand new premium service: “We are at the very beginning of what we want to do with Health+.”

However, if such a service can be useful for the health of users, it raises questions about the monetization of tools to monitor its health. Admittedly, the subscription economy is in fashion, driven by Amazon and Apple, which offer a plethora of services in exchange for a monthly subscription. But the concentration of health data by private players, who offer paid services in exchange for a subscription, could quickly arouse fears about possible abuses. What is currently at stake is not only the digital transformation of health, but also the potential substitution of public services by offers from private players.

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