eXtensions - Tuesday 20 June 2017

Withings Health app updated to Nokia Health Mate - Not What I was Hoping

apple and chopsticks


By Graham K. Rogers

Nokia Health

I have been a user of the Withings Blood pressure monitor for a few months now. I bought this initially as a practical way to look at how health devices work with Apple's Health app, but realised the data I was able to access was useful in a general way to help me identify problems, along with the Apple Watch Heart rate feature and other input from the Watch and the iPhone.

When I bought the Withings device, I downloaded the app that came with it and have used it since. It integrates data with the Health app and draws input as well, like a 2-way street.

Withings - Nokia blood pressure monotor
Withings blood pressure monotor

Withings, a French company was taken over by Nokia a short while ago and while there was a disagreement between Nokia and Apple over licensing, this was settled recently. The device and app kept working perfectly during that Apple-Nokia spat.

As has been expected, Nokia has now released an update to the app and it is now named Nokia Health Mate. It became available in the app store a short while ago, but the update has taken a toll.

Nokia Health Nokia Health Nokia Health

The app has seen a complete makeover and this signals Nokia's intentions in the health market. The opening screens introduce some new features and the access to data is set out in ways that are both easier to access, but also simpler in the display of the information. I was pleased to see that the blood pressure device was automatically recognised. No re-pairing was needed.

Nokia Health Nokia Health Nokia Health

When checking for blood pressure the first time, I was offered a tutorial which can either be dismissed after the first time or viewed on every check. The interfacing made it quite easy to take a number of readings, although I was unable to find a way to use it with an un-named user: this is useful for those not registered - perhaps a one-off test.

While all the health data has been brought into the Nokia app, I am unable to see any data from the blood pressure tests in the Apple Health app. The Nokia app is recognised for reading data from the Health app, but does not appear in the panel that allows data to be sent to Health. As the Withings app was working fine this morning, the update has not been seamless and I am now without a regular data feed to the Health app.

I would expect an early update to this app to rectify this apparent problem.

Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs. After 3 years writing a column in the Life supplement, he is now no longer associated with the Bangkok Post. He can be followed on Twitter (@extensions_th)



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