PatientSafe buys Merck's Vree Health to expand into home health

By Jonah Comstock
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Vree HealthSan Diego, California-based PatientSafe Solutions has acquired all the assets of Merck subsidiary Vree Health for an undisclosed amount. The acquisition will help the care coordination and provider workflow company expand its offerings to the home care market in addition to the hospital. Merck isn't letting it's former company too far out of its site: the Merck Global Health Investment Fund (Merck GHI) is already a major investor in PatientSafe.

PatientSafe's main product is PatientTouch, a wide-reaching workflow product that consists of an iPod Touch with a special rugged case equipped with a barcode scanner. Hospitals can use it in medication administration, specimen collection, infant care, care interventions, and care team communications.

Vree Health, meanwhile, has been a part of Merck's Healthcare Services and Solutions group. It's technology uses a combination of trained care liaisons and a patient portal to motivate and coach patients at home. Its platform includes some home health monitoring, patient engagement, and patient education tools.

“In this era of healthcare reform and value-based care, outcomes play a more important role than ever before; yet, there is still a gap between hospital care delivery and home health management," Joe Condurso, president and CEO of PatientSafe Solutions said in a statement. "This is why Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services’ (CMS) spend over $30 billion per year on frequent hospital readmissions. Our vision at PatientSafe has always been to serve the patient during all transitions of care, from the hospital all the way to the home – it’s something we call H3, hospital-to-home-to-human. With Vree’s technology and patient care services combined with PatientSafe’s mobile clinical portfolio, we are confident our customers will be able to bridge this gap in care delivery.”

PatientSafe intends to combine the company's offerings together to give its provider customers a service that helps engage with patients within the hospital as well as post-discharge, allowing those customers to reduce hospital readmissions.

According to an Xconomy report, PatientSafe will continue to operate out of Vree's New Jersey headquarters and has offered jobs to 20 Vree Health employees.

PatientSafe Solutions, which was once known as IntelliDot, has raised more than $66 million in funding (Xconomy has the figure at $73 million). The latest investment, in March 2014, came from Canadian mobile operator Telus and signaled the business's expansion into Canada.