The 12 digital health mergers and acquisitions of Q1 2017

By Jonah Comstock
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Only one quarter into 2017, there have already been an impressive number of mergers and acquisitions in the digital health space. While some were bigger and more unexpected than others, they all demonstrate a maturing and consolidating space. Read on for the 12 mergers and acquisitions we’ve tracked since January. They’re listed in descending order of acquisition price, with the undisclosed acquisitions ordered chronologically.

HMS Holdings acquires Eliza — $170M Irving, Texas-based HMS Holdings, which owns a number of subsidiaries that offer software tools for payers, acquired health engagement platform provider Eliza Corporation for a cash purchase price of $170 million.

Eliza is attractive to HMS for a number of reasons. The company has a strong presence with many major US health plans including Medicaid and Medicare, and it offers tools not just to improve the consumer experience, but to increase organizations’ revenue and renewal rates, as well as improve quality of care delivery and cost efficiencies. The cloud-based platform uses proprietary predictive analytics, behavioral science and data-driven outreach methodologies that have led to Eliza accruing more than 50 domestic and international patents and patent applications (which will all go to HMS under the acquisition). More

Castlight acquires Jiff — $135M San Francisco-based Castlight Health, which offers consumers a personalized health shopping platform, announced the strategic acquisition of Mountain View, California-based digital health benefits platform Jiff. Castlight paid about $135 million in the form of 27 million Castlight shares and options issued to Jiff equity holders.

Jiff and Castlight's offerings (not to mention existing customer bases) complement each other well. Castlight offers a suite of transparency tools that employers can offer their employees to save money on healthcare costs, while Jiff provides a platform for connecting employees to different vendors for health and wellness programs. The combined platform, the companies said in a press release "will seek to improve every aspect of an employee’s health experience: from staying healthy, to accessing care, to managing a condition.” More

Fitbit acquires Vector — $15M Following on its acquisition of Pebble, and the company's announcement at CES that it would be developing an app store, Fitbit announced another smartwatch acquisition: Vector, a year-old Romanian startup that boasts a smartwatch with a 30-day battery life. Though the terms were undisclosed at the time, Fitbit revealed in its quarterly report that it paid $15 million for the startup.

Vector could potentially have a lot to offer Fitbit as it enters the smartwatch business. Like Pebble, Vector has its own app store that developers can build for. The Vector delivers on its 30-day battery life by skimping on other smartwatch features: it eschews the touch screen in favor of side buttons and limits the Bluetooth communication between phone and watch. But it delivers features like activity tracking without having to be charged every night like an Apple Watch. More

Proactive MD acquires Verimoov — Greenville, South Carolina-based Proactive MD, which offers onsite health management services to employers (including full direct primary care services) acquired Charlotte, North Carolina-based Verimoov, an employee wellness and patient engagement company offering a mobile app to track employees' movement and activity. The terms of the acquisition were undisclosed. Apparently Proactive MD acquired the startup to booster its patient engagement game. More

Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative acquires Meta — The Chan Zuckerberg Inititative, a philanthropic initiative from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Dr. Priscilla Chan, a pediatrician, has acquired a startup, Meta, focused on using AI and machine learning to sift through recently published scientific studies. The terms of the acquisition were undisclosed.

In an effort similar to the work IBM Watson is doing in oncology, Meta seeks to bring AI and machine learning to bear on the problem of doctors not being able to keep up with the wealth of medical literature that grows every year. The company has already created some tools that do just that. But they will work with the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative to scale their work and make it available more widely. More

GoodRx and Iodine merge — Santa Monica, California-based GoodRx, a digital cost transparency tool specifically for medication, has merged with San Francisco-based Iodine, which offers a similar tool for quality assessment and information on medications. The merger took the place at the end of 2016 but was not publicly announced until this year. The terms of the deal have not been disclosed.
The companies will continue to work out of their respective headquarters and haven't shown any signs of shuttering either brand. The two companies first began collaborating in August 2016, working on a project to incorporate drug-pricing data into Iodine’s existing content. More

DrFirst acquires VisibilityRx — Rockville, Maryland-based DrFirst, which provides healthcare SaaS offerings ranging from medication management to clinical communications, has acquired clinical trial recruitment provider VisibilityRx. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The aim of the acquisition is to offer VisibilityRx’s patient identification, recruitment and communication capabilities to DrFirst’s 60,000 physician clients. More

RxWiki and TeleManager merge — Austin, Texas-based RxWiki, which offers a medication encyclopedia written and edited by pharmacists as well as tools to help community pharmacists to communicate with consumers, has merged with TeleManager Technologies, a Newark, New Jersey-based provider of interactive voice response (IVR) and telecommunication technologies for pharmacies. The two companies will operate under the new name Digital Pharmacist. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
By combining their assets, the companies are able to offer a wider variety of services to indepedent pharmacies, including IVR and digital channels for communicating with patients and mobile apps. More

Medfusion acquires NexSched — Patient engagement company Medfusion has acquired NexSched, which makes a patient-facing appointment scheduling tool. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Medfusion started out as a patient portal company in 2000. The company was acquired by Intuit in 2011 and then re-acquired by its original owner in 2013. It added a payment offering in 2015, shortly before a $3 million funding raise. NexSched is an appointment scheduling platform that lets patients access a doctor’s schedule in a limited way and set their own appointments, leading to fewer no-shows and a decreased call volume. More

GlobalMed acquires TreatMD — Miami-based TreatMD, a telemedicine company that uses a platform approach to connect patients and physicians around the world, has been acquired by site-to-site telemedicine technology group GlobalMed. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

GlobalMed has mostly focused on creating hardware and software to enable site-to-site telemedicine within hospitals and health systems, while TreatMD enables direct-to-consumer telemedicine. The acquisition could signal a move for GlobalMed further into the patient-facing telemedicine space. Certainly, GlobalMed is acquiring TreatMD to expand its available services. More
 
GE Healthcare acquires Monica Healthcare — UK-based Monica Healthcare was acquired by GE Healthcare. While the terms of the deal were not disclosed, investor Catapult Ventures shared that it received a 3.5x return on its investment. MobiHealthNews's reporting has the company's total funding to date around $7 million.

Founded in 2005, Monica Healthcare was one of the early players in the digital health space. GE Healthcare's relationship with the company isn't totally new: it has been a distribution partner since 2015. According to Catapult Ventures, Monica's technologies were used by more than 100,000 patients last year at approximately 1,000 sites across Europe, Asia and North America. More

Digital Pharmacist acquires PocketRx — Digital Pharmacist, the company formed in January from a merger of RxWiki and TeleManager, made its first acquisition at the end of the quarter: An app called PocketRx, made by Shreveport, Louisiana-based software development company Praeses. The terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

PocketRx is an app to help patients manage their prescriptions, and is sold to pharmacy chains including Denver Health Pharmacy, USave Pharmacy and Owen's Healthcare, who in turn offer the app to their customers. This is the same business model Digital Pharmacist uses. The two companies will work to integrate their offerings into one, and existing PocketRx customers will immediately have access to the Digital Pharmacist suite. More