Merger to add telemed, mobile services to WellnessFX platform

By Neil Versel
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HealthElementsWellnessFX, a supplier of blood management services for consumers and a Web portal for phlebotomy laboratories, has been acquired by Health Elements, which provides wellness services, including mobile apps and online coaching, for people looking to lose weight and fight chronic diseases, the companies said Monday. They did not disclose financial terms of the deal.

The combined company will retain the name of San Francisco-based WellnessFX, though Paul Jacobson, CEO of New York-based nutritional supplements supplier Thorne Research is the new CEO of WellnessFX. Thorne was part of a joint venture that spawned Health Elements and is investing in the acquisition.

The new WellnessFX will offer medically supervised weight-loss programs for patients, physicians and practitioners of alternative medicine, as well as a digital dashboard to help consumers looking to shed pounds find blood labs, Jacobson said. Plans call for WellnessFX to move into management of other health issues; Jacobson said to expect an announcement of a fitness aspect of these services early next year.

The company also will facilitate telemedicine consultations about blood work between patients and physicians in select states.

"We are going to enable physicians and alternative practitioners to extend the walls of their clinics," Jacobson told MobiHealthNews. Participating doctors will be able to sell neutraceutical products based on each patient's blood work and overall health condition. Current clients include heart hospitals and practices treating patients with metabolic syndrome, according to Jacobson.

An analytics component takes de-identified patient data to help practices manage populations and participants in weight-loss programs. WellnessFX has plans to conduct research based on this data. "We'll essentially be managing one of the world's largest clinical trials for neutraceuticals," Jacobson said.

Also in the new year, WellnessFX will be looking to expand its platform into China through a relationship Thorne has with a hospital system there. "We will make it available in Canada," Jacobson added.

WellnessFX has no connection to WellFX, a developer of an online and mobile social platform for healthcare providers and patients to manage chronic diseases, though both companies are headquartered in Northern California.