Digital health deals: Vocera buys Extension, Red Cross-Teladoc and more

By Heather Mack
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San Jose-based Vocera Communications, which offers communications services for hospitals and health systems, has acquired fellow clinical communications company Extension Healthcare for $55 million in an all-cash transaction.The acquisition combines the complementary technology of both companies, creating a mobile communication and collaboration platform within a single system from a single vendor. With Extension’s software, Vocera will be able to expand interoperability of its platform with more than 120 clinical systems including EHRs, monitoring devices, enterprise clinical systems and devices such as ventilators. More

The Red Cross has tapped Teladoc as its telehealth partner to expand healthcare access during emergencies, making the company’s services available to victims of diasters via the app. More

Mountain View, California-based AliveCor, which makes an FDA-cleared mobile electrocardiogram (ECG) device and companion app collectively called Kardia Mobile, announced a collaboration with the Mayo Clinic to explore the use of Kardia to measure previously hidden health indicators in ECG readings. With the machine learning capabilities of AliveCor’s technology, the company will work with the Mayo Clinic to analyze 10 million of its user ECG recordings, looking for physiological symptoms that could impact the morphology of the reading and help identify other health conditions. For example, the ECG may reveal how health indicators that have implications for patients with abnormal blood potassium levels due to kidney failure.Dr. Paul Friedman, a Mayo Clinic cardiologist who helped developed the intellectual property that went into the technology, said that the added insight from the ECG to quantify serum potassium brings a “significant enhancement to traditional morphology analysis.” More

Mountain View, California-based ACO Atrius Health has implemented Glooko as their diabetes remote patient monitoring service. The partnership includes an integration with Atrius’ EHR system, and follows a recent program wherein Atrius saw positive outcomes for people with gestational diabetes. More

Toronto-based SeamlessMD, a company that has developed an engagement tool for surgery patients, is rolling out its offering at Saint Peter's Healthcare System in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Saint Peter's will tap SeamlessMD to create an app-based ERAS (enhanced recovery after surgery) program for its cesarean section patients. Eventually it will also expand the program out to patients recovering from major colon surgery, gynecologic surgery and other major surgeries. More

Personal genomics startup Helix, which is developing a digital hub for all things related to DNA testing ranging from direct-to-consumer to doctor-ordered, has announced several partnerships: the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, National Geographic and ExploraGen will collaborate to deploy Helix’s genetic-testing service, which is powered by DNA sequencing giant Illumina. Additionally, the company secured an investment from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and the company also recently announced a partnership with genetic information company Invitae. More

New Jersey health system Virtua has partnered with online doctor appointment scheduling platform DocASAP to offer patients the service for primary and urgent care. "With online tools like DocASAP, we're making it easier for patients to get high quality primary and urgent care," Virtua’s Assistant Vice President Sarah Sivon, said in a statement. "Online scheduling allows us to engage with our patients faster – and when it's convenient for them…DocASAP integrates with our electronic medical records and business processes, allowing us to focus our resources on other aspects of patient care." More

Yext, which provides software to companies to manage location data across their websites, mobile apps and internal systems, has partnered with patient feedback management company Binary Fountain. The collaboration will integrate Yext’s location cloud capabilities with Binary Health Analytics, which helps providers improve patient experience and reputation management. More