Xiaomi is one of the largest Chinese smartphone manufacturers with devices such as the beautiful Mi4 and an in-house Android based interface, MIUI. Until recently, Xiaomi's smartphones were rarely seen in the Western smartphone markets but the business is keen to expand. Xiaomi's latest, high end products are as well made as the more established brands in the west but are considerably cheaper. They appear to have a very bright future ahead of them but acknowledge that sales and marketing outside of China and India is something of a weakness. Today's news will contribute to Xiaomi's mindshare in a small way.
We've received reports that Xiaomi Ventures, part of the smartphone group, is branching out into healthcare with an investment of $25 million into iHealth Lab. iHealth Lab manufacture smart health devices including the first wireless blood pressure monitor (released in 2012) followed with a wireless blood glucose monitor. Their products were the first to be carried by Apple retail stores and are now sold in Walgreens, Best Buy and of course Amazon all over the world. Indeed, iHealth has been developing an app to integrate with Apple's distinctly unhealthy HealthKit (the service is offline as Apple discovered bugs at the last minute).
iHealth's products and services have rapidly gained traction as consumers and their healthcare professionals adopt the technology. For the user, the information that the new generation of devices provide is far more visual and accessible compared with older systems. Making the information easily accessible helps patients understand their condition and simplifies the process of sharing the data with their healthcare professionals. It may also reduce the necessary infrastructure required at hospitals and doctor surgeries as the information may be transferred wirelessly into the medical practitioners' computer. This is because many personal health monitoring systems are integrated, in one form or another, with cloud technologies too.
iHealth is planning to use Xiaomi's investment to expand its global operations by investing in additional sales and marketing resources. It's unclear if this will be focused on consumers, medical professionals or both but one thing is clear: Xiaomi's interest and investment in what is an Internet of Things is a sign that the technology rapidly becoming entrenched in society.