Nokia’s plans to focus on the digital health market will cost more than 300 employees in its UK, US and Finnish technologies unit their jobs.
Nokia recently announced it wants to “sharpen” its technologies strategy and target the growing digital health market – it will now step back from virtual reality (VR) investments.
“The slower-than-expected development of the VR market means that Nokia Technologies plans to reduce investments and focus more on technology licensing opportunities”, it said in a press statement.
The planned changes are expected to impact 310 of the roughly 1090 employees in Nokia Technologies, mainly in the UK, Finland and the US.
“While necessary, the changes will also affect our employees, and as a responsible company we are committed to providing the needed support to those affected”, Gregory Lee, president of Nokia Technologies said.
To start the process, Nokia invited employee representatives of Nokia Technologies in Finland to cooperation negotiations.
However, it said it will be leaving its “successful patent licensing business untouched.”
As a result of its digital health focus, Nokia will halt development of further versions of the OZO VR camera and hardware, “while maintaining commitments to existing customers.”
It seems confident it can grow its footprint in the digital health market with Lee saying they are in a good position to do so now.
“Nokia Technologies is at a point where, with the right focus and investments, we can meaningfully grow our footprint in the digital health market, and we must seize that opportunity.”
At a keynote address at Mobile World Congress Americas last month, Nokia CEO Rajeev Suri said: “We see a world where a highly connected digital healthcare system will supersede the constraints of a physical hospital or doctor’s office.”
“What was old will become new again with the return of a house call, albeit a digital one, whether the patient is across town or on the other side of the world.”
Nokia acquired French health tracking company Withings in 2016 for an estimated $192 million, signaling the company’s long-term investment in consumer digital health and the Internet of Things sector.
Withings completed its rebrand to the Nokia label in June of this year and simultaneously launched two new connected health products under the Nokia brand.