BioTelemetry buys TelCare for $7M to branch out into diabetes

By Jonah Comstock

BioTelemetry, formerly known as CardioNet, has acquired TelCare, a diabetes management technology company with the distinction of having had the first FDA-cleared, cellular-connected glucometer. BioTelemetry paid $7 million in cash with the potential for additional performance-based earn-outs of up to $5 million, also in cash. Both BioTelemetry and TelCare are veterans of the early days of the mobile health space.

"Given our clear leadership position in the analysis and transmission of complex digital health information, we are uniquely positioned to accelerate the market penetration of Telcare’s digital population health management solution," Joseph H. Capper, president and CEO of BioTelemetry, said in a statement. "Telcare, fueled by its wireless BGM system and highly sophisticated, cloud-based population analytics, provides us with a powerful platform from which to build. We are confident this business will provide a meaningful contribution to our growth over time.”

Founded as CardioNet in 1994, BioTelemetry initially focused on mobile cardiac arrhythmia monitoring -- it got its first FDA clearance for its MCOT monitoring device in 2002. The company went public in 2008 and secured a CPT code for reimbursement of its device later that year. BioTelemetry was talking about expanding more broadly into chronic condition management as early as 2009but until recently hadn't made a lot of concrete moves in that area. BioTelemetry also has made quite a few acquisitions over the years including PDS Heart, Biotel, ECG Scanning and Medical Services, CardioCore, MedNet Technologies, Radcore Lab, VirtualScopics, and the ePatch division of Delta Danish electronics.

TelCare was founded in 2008, and has raised more than $60 million from backers including Norwest Venture Partners, Mosaic Health Solutions, The Qualcomm Life Fund and Sequoia Capital. Telcare offers a diabetes management package that includes a cellular-enabled glucose meter with two-way messaging that transmits to an FDA-cleared care management server, in addition to iPhone and Android apps that help keep family members in the loop about the progress of loved ones with diabetes. The company's claim to fame is that it was the first to get a cellular-connected glucometer through the FDA, in 2011.

Capper confirmed in a statement that the acquisition represents a new direction for BioTelemetry's business, which the company had previously detailed on its most recent earnings call.

"BioTelemetry is one of the few companies to successfully scale a profitable digital health business," he said. "We have a tremendous core competency in real-time remote data collection, analysis, storage and distribution. As we detailed on our last earnings call, we see digital population health management as a natural fit to leverage our expertise and existing partnerships to improve outcomes and reduce costs in some of the more widespread chronic conditions. We chose the diabetes market as our first major digital population health initiative because of its significant overall burden on the healthcare system, with estimated direct annual costs in the U.S. of over $245 billion."