Welltok buys health analytics company Predilytics to boost consumer-facing CafeWell

By Jonah Comstock
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CafeWell ConciergeDenver-based Welltok, the health management company that makes the CafeWell Health Optimization Platform, has acquired Predilytics, a Burlington, Massachusetts-based predictive analytics company, for an undisclosed amount. Welltok will incorporate Predilytics' engine into CafeWell, to help health plans, at-risk providers and other population health managers better understand and anticipate the needs of their patient populations.

Welltok's CafeWell health social network is not available direct to consumer, but rather offered via population managers including employers, health plans, and providers. CafeWell Concierge, Welltok's premium offering, is an IBM Watson-powered app that helps users manage their health throughout the day.

"For too long, healthcare analytics has been focused on what the patient is doing, rather than the consumer. The data is largely clinical, retroactive and inadequate to understand the needs of consumers," Jeff Margolis, chairman and chief executive officer for Welltok, said in a statement. "This is why Predilytics is so incredibly important – it strives to understand consumers and gain unparalleled insights on behavior and preferences before they engage with the healthcare system."

Predilytics was founded in 2011 and has raised $20.5 million from investors including Highland Capital Partners, Flare Capital Partners, Flybridge Capital Partners, Qualcomm Ventures, and Google Ventures. Flare Capital's Michael Greeley (who was working with Flybridge at the time) mentioned the company at a 2013 industry event, saying that Predilytics was able to reach profitability much faster and with a much smaller initial investment than if it had launched 10 years ago. The company uses machine learning to help health plans and provider organizations attract and keep members.

"Predilytics has advanced health analytics by understanding consumer intent and interest," Chris Coloian, chief executive officer and president for Predilytics, said in a statement. "And, now with CafeWell, we can close that loop to activate consumers. Also, since the platform obtains immediate feedback on engagement, we can use that data to further personalize the experience and guide the consumer."

This is at least the third acquisition in recent years for Welltok, which has raised around $73 million to date from investors including Bessemer Venture Partners with participation from Emergence Capital Partners, InterWest Partners, New Enterprise Associates (NEA), and Qualcomm Ventures.

In March of last year, the company acquired Seattle-based Mindbloom, which offered users a series of apps aimed at helping them improve their lives. One app, Juice, was created in conjunction with Premera Blue Cross to help users track which aspects of their routine affect their energy. Another app, Lifegame, used a virtual tree to represent the different spheres of life like health, career, and spirituality. Margolis said Welltok bought Mindbloom more for its team than the apps themselves.

That acquisition came just five months after Welltok’s acquisition of healthcare incentive design and management firm IncentOne, which creates incentive programs meant to deliver rewards to consumers after they fulfill a requirement from the program. At the time, Welltok planned to integrate the IncentOne technology into its CafeWell platform, giving population health managers a more convenient way to offer consumers personalized rewards for healthy behaviors.