Sharecare acquires VR patient education company BioLucid

By Jonah Comstock

Sharecare has made another acquisition, buying virtual reality company BioLucid for an undisclosed amount. BioLucid's technology, which uses virtual tours of the body to educate patients, will be incorporated into Sharecare's growing stable of patient engagement tools, but the company will also continue to operate out of its Sarasota, Florida office under the name "Sharecare Reality Lab".

“Visual storytelling technologies–particularly virtual reality blended with 360-degree video–have boundless potential in healthcare and patient engagement, yet consumer-facing innovation in VR has been limited mostly to entertainment and gaming,” Jeff Arnold, chairman and CEO of Sharecare, said in a statement. “By differentiating our platform with BioLucid’s immersive simulation of the human body, we can turn data into actionable, visual intelligence, and make a transformative impact on patient engagement, health literacy, medical education and therapy adherence.”

This marks Sharecare's 11th acquisition, and those acquisitions are strategically building toward a comprehensive patient engagement engine, Arnold told MobiHealthNews in an interview a few months ago.

"Our vision is we want to be the only health app on your phone. The same way you don’t have 12 apps to manage your money, you’re not going to have 12 apps to manage your health," Arnold said at the time. "We have made 10 acquisitions over the last several years putting together what we think the key pieces are that are going to enable you to manage all your health and wellness in one place."

So Sharecare will incorporate BioLucid's technology into its health platform as it has done with previous acquisitions.

"Sharecare will combine BioLucid’s real-time simulation of the human body with 360-degree video and augmented reality to help patients and providers better understand what each is experiencing by telling the story of patient journeys through scientifically accurate, deep visualizations of conditions, disease states and therapies," the company explained in a statement. "From first awareness of symptoms through all stages of treatment and follow-up, these interactive experiences will enable you to view the perspectives of the patient, caregiver or provider at each step in their healthcare journey, fostering empathy and understanding among all healthcare constituents."

They will also license the technology out to partners, and use BioLucid technology to create virtual avatars that will change to reflect changes to a person's health or healthcare based on whatever data the user tracks. These avatars will become part of a user's Sharecare profile.