Wolters Kluwer acquires patient engagement company Emmi Solutions for $170M

By Jonah Comstock

Wolters Kluwer health, owner of physician-facing mobile products UpToDate and Lexicomp, has announced its intention to acquire Emmi Solutions, a patient engagement software company, for $170 million.

Emmi works primarily with value-based providers and payers, and its business is built around using online and mobile engagement strategies to reach out to potentially expensive patients, including interactive and gamified experiences. They reach out to the patient at all times in their care journey from prevention to follow-up.

“Healthcare systems are striving to deliver consistent, safe, high-quality care while the economics of healthcare are increasingly demanding value in healthcare delivery," Wolters Kluwer CEO Diana Nole said in a statement. "Patients who engage in their care have the potential to make better decisions and achieve improved health outcomes. We are pleased to add this state-of-the-art patient engagement product to our range of clinical solutions. Combining Emmi’s products with our UpToDate and drug information offerings, we can now uniquely provide healthcare systems and their patients a consistent, high quality, evidence based solution that spans the entire continuum of care.”

Emmi Solutions was founded in 2002 and raised very little from investors over the years -- SEC documents show just one $50,000 round in 2008. According to Wolters Kluwer's announcement, the company is profitable and expecting to see revenues of about $29 million in 2016, driven by increasing penetration and product innovation. Over 90 percent of those revenues are subscription-based and over 95 percent come from the U.S. market. 

“As healthcare continues to evolve, we knew that ultimately becoming part a larger organization would enable us to expand and enhance our offering,” Devin Gross, CEO of Emmi, told MobiHealthNews in an email.  “Joining Wolters Kluwer will help accelerate our strategy of enabling clinicians to extend their reach and providing consistent clinical information and engagement across the full continuum of care.”

The acquisition is notable because it is the first patient-engagement-focused acquisition for Wolters Kluwer. Previous M&A in the space has revolved around doctor-facing tools like UpToDate, Lexicomp, and drug information app Medi-Span.

It follows news of two other large M&A actions in the space this week. Yesterday, IMS Health, a big data and analytics company that has dabbled in the app curation space, and Quintiles, a company that helps pharmaceutical companies improve clinical trials, finalized their merger. They will operate under the name Quintiles IMS. And on Monday, Evolent Health completed the acquisition of Valence Health -- both are tech-enabled service companies that promote value-based care.