6 Q4 mergers round out an 17-acquisition year for digital health

By Jonah Comstock
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Healthrageous. Healthrageous.

It's clear that consolidation is finally starting to happen in mobile health.

In the third quarter of 2013, MobiHealthNews reported an unprecedented number of mobile and digital health acquisitions in a single quarter -- five. Depending on where you count Humana's acquisition of Healthrageous (which we reported on October 1st), the fourth quarter either matched or surpassed that total: There were a total of six acquisitions, including Healthrageous. That brings the total acquisitions for the year to an impressive 17.

The fourth quarter started off with a report that employee wellness company Healthrageous, which spun out of Partners Healthcare’s Center for Connected Health in 2010, had sold its assets to a mysterious buyer. MobiHealthNews learned a week later that Humana was the purchaser, and it obtained Healthrageous to build up its own employee wellness platform, Vitality. Healthrageous CEO Rick Lee wrote a post-mortem on the company for MobiHealthNews.

At the end of October, news of two more acquisitions broke within two days. WebMD bought EHR-neutral patient portal Avado to enhance the connectivity between its recently relaunched WebMD patient app and its physician-facing Medscape app. The price range for the deal was reportedly between $20 and $30 million. The next day, MobiHealthNews reported that Welltok, creator of an online and mobile “social health management” platform, had acquired healthcare incentive design and management firm IncentOne for an undisclosed amount. WellTok told MobiHealthNews the it would integrate IncentOne technology into its CafeWell platform, giving population health managers a more convenient way to offer consumers personalized rewards for healthy behaviors.

In addition, in October, MobiHealthNews learned that back in August, Merck GHI bought a controlling stake in Physicians InteractiveWe're not counting this as a full-on acquisition, since Merck GHI was already a major investor, but Physicians Interactive CEO Guatam Gulati did tell MobiHealthNews that the change in ownership would lead to more partnership opportunities for the app maker.

November brought just one acquisition, but it was a big one: Smart sportswear company Under Armour bought popular fitness app MapMyFitness for $150 million. MobiHealthNews learned that UnderArmour plans to operate MapMyFitness as a separate, largely autonomous company. Correction: The original version of this article incorrectly referred to MyFitnessPal instead of MapMyFitness on second reference.

Earlier this month, Health Elements, which provides wellness services, including mobile apps and online coaching, for people looking to lose weight and fight chronic diseases, bought WellnessFX, a supplier of blood management services for consumers and a Web portal for phlebotomy laboratories. The combined company will retain the name of San Francisco-based WellnessFX and 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, CEO Paul Jacobson told MobiHealthNews.

Finally, the year finished with the acquisition of challenges and rewards platform Earndit by higi, a health kiosk company backed by entrepreneur Michael Ferro and rapper Lupe Fiasco, among others. Earndit CEO Andres Moran told MobiHealthNews the buy was a win for the bootstrapped startup all around and that "there is no aspect of Earndit that I know of will be falling away." 

All in all it's been a big quarter -- and a big year -- for digital health acquisitions. For a reminder, check after the jump for a timeline of the first 11 acquisitions of 2013, with links back to the original coverage.

January 2013 — athenahealth buys Epocrates Athenahealth, a provider of cloud-based EHR and practice management software, announced a definitive agreement to acquire Epocrates, a popular mobile medical app provider, for about $293 million in cash at the beginning of the year. The deal will lead to a combined company that can leverage Epocrates’ mobile expertise and athena’s cloud-based network to develop “new mobile applications that deliver high-value information to the clinical community when, where, and how they want it,” according to the companies. Moving forward athena will work with the Epocrates team to develop “new mobile workflows” that initially might include ones that focus on care coordination, provider-to-provider communication, and patient engagement tools.

February 2013 — Jawbone acqui-hires Massive Health San Francisco-based Jawbone, a company best known for fashion-minded Bluetooth headsets and iPod speakers, acquired mobile health startup Massive Health and design firm Visere for an undisclosed sum to help it refine and improve its own wearable health device, UP. Massive Health had been relatively quiet since it first launched in late 2010, but it did publicly launch one app, called The Eatery, and quietly tested out another diabetes management-related app, which was at one time called Penguine. Massive Health raised $2.25 million from a number of investors.

February 2013 — Practice Fusion acqui-hires 100Plus Practice Fusion, developer of a free, web-based EHR system, has acquired consumer health app startup 100Plus for an undisclosed sum. 100Plus was co-founded by data analytics pro Chris Hogg and Practice Fusion CEO Ryan Howard in late 2011. 100Plus was the first company to leverage Practice Fusion’s data set, and it was also based out of the Practice Fusion offices in downtown San Francisco. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. While 100Plus will continue working on consumer-facing apps, they will also begin focusing on apps that help patients and providers better work together.

March 2013 — Allscripts acquires Jardogs Chicago, Illinois-based Allscripts acquired patient engagement solution Jardogs to expand its network and the acquisition will allow Allsripts to offer a fuller integration across different systems. Springfield, Illinois-based Jardogs’ FollowMyHealth patient engagement platform provides workflow integration between patients, physicians and other caregivers, including secure health messaging, prescription re-ordering, bill paying and scheduling of appointments.

April 2013 — Jawbone acquires BodyMedia San Francisco-based Jawbone acquired Pittsburgh-based BodyMedia for an disclosed sum. BodyMedia CEO Christine Robins will stay on as general manager of the BodyMedia brand and VP of Health and Wellness Business Development at Jawbone, and Jawbone will continue to sell and support existing BodyMedia products.

April 2013 — Health Reviser snaps up FitPal Seattle, Washington-based app developer Health Reviser, has acquired FitPal, developer of fitness apps like Health Snapshot, Biological Age Test, Stress Sweeper, Stress Monitor, and Fitness Test.

May 2013 — Qualcomm Life buys HealthyCircles Qualcomm Life, the Qualcomm subsidiary that offers the 2net platform and hub for connecting home remote monitoring devices to the cloud, announced that it is acquiring San Diego-based HealthyCircles, a software-as-a-service startup that helps different care providers share patient information securely in a hospital setting. HealthyCircles Founder and Chief Strategic Officer Dr. James Mault, who was also one of the founding architects Microsoft HealthVault, will join the Qualcomm Life team as Chief Medical Officer. The companies are not disclosing the financials of the deal.

August 2013 — Medtronic buys Cardiocom Minneapolis-based implantable medical device maker Medtronic acquired Chanhassen, Minnesota-based Cardiocom, a remote patient monitoring and disease management company, for $200 million in cash. This acquisition represents a diversification for Medtronic, from its core offering of implantable medical devices to home health monitors working to help providers reduce hospital readmissions.

August 2013 — IMS Health subsidiaries buys Diversinet Toronto-based mobile health company Diversinet agreed to sell its assets to subsidiaries of Parsippany, New Jersey-based IMS Health for about $3.5 million (US). The sale includes Diversinet’s intellectual property, software, and customer contracts. Some employees will also be offered positions at IMS, once the deal is finalized. The asset acquisition is still subject to the approval of the company’s shareholders but a vote is scheduled for mid-September. Diversinet plans to liquidate its remaining assets and wind the rest of the business up.

August 2013 — Jawbone acquires Nutrivise Jawbone, which already acquired two companies this year, bought Palo Alto-based nutrition app maker Nutrivise for an unknown sum, without making any official announcement. This is Jawbone’s second acquisition of a nutrition-focused product in 2013. Though MobiHealthNews learned about the acquisition in August, it’s likely the buy happened earlier this year.

September 2013 — Teladoc buys Consult A Doctor Dallas-based Teladoc acquired Miami Beach, Florida-based Consult A Doctor this week for an undisclosed amount, according to the Teladoc. This acquisition will allow small- and medium-sized companies access to Teladoc’s patient-physician consult services. Teladoc, which launched in 2002, has since built a team of physicians that complete more than 120,000 consults annually and have an average of 15 years experience.