Nokia stepping up health presence

Looks like Nokia is taking a major turn back down the healthcare road this year. The company just debuted a new version of its Wellness Diary in December, fresh from updates made during a several-month hiatus last year.

The diary allows users to track eating habits, exercise and weight, plus program in diet or other health reminders. The app even includes an "accelerometer" to record the users' steps per day, with customizable reminders when more exercise is needed. The goal: To motivate users to stick with positive health habits, and ditch negative ones, according to Jaakko Olkkonen, Nokia's health and wellness director.

The company also ponied up $10 million for its 2011 "Calling All Innovators" program, offering winners $250,000, plus $2 million worth of free marketing for their product from Nokia.

The contest is particularly suited for launching mobile health apps, according to Lisa McKnight, a senior manager with Nokia's AT&T Product Group. "Releasing an m-health app on [Nokia's] Ovi Store can get to 190 countries, and millions of phones in a matter of weeks," she says. "For example, the Myglucohealth app for diabetes management that Nokia released from Entra Health Systems last year resulted in 100,000's of downloads within a few months in 170 countries."

The vendor also added Ilkka Korhonen, a former chief research scientist with applied research giant VTT Technical Research Centre in Finland, to its health team. Korhonen brings 20-plus years of healthcare IT and healthcare engineering experience to the table for Nokia.

For more information:
- read about Nokia's "Calling All Innovators" program
- download the Wellness Diary app
- read this IntoMobile post about the app
- read this post on the 3G Doctor Blog