10 mobile health acquisitions in 2011 so far

By Brian Dolan
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While the year is little more than halfway through, 2011 has already seen at least ten acquisitions for mobile health companies. Here's a roundup of memorable ones:

Vitality's GlowCapsSoon-Shiong Buys Vitality-GlowCaps: In February pharma entrepreneur and billionaire Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong acquired Vitality, the company that developed GlowCaps. Vitality CEO David Rose stated in the company press release that while the financial terms of the acquisition have not been disclosed, Vitality’s investors achieved a ten-fold return on their investments. In 2009 InformationWeek reported that the company had raised about $4 million, including investments from Dr. Soon-Shiong. The Boston Globe reports that Dr. Soon-Shiong negotiated the deal with Vitality’s co-founders courtside at an LA Lakers game. Dr. Soon-Shiong is partial owner of the team. Vitality’s flagship product, GlowCaps “illuminate, play a melody, and even ring a home phone so patients don’t forget to take their medication,” according to the company’s description. “GlowCaps send weekly emails to remote caregivers, create accountability with physicians through adherence reports, and automatically refill prescriptions.” More

WellDoc Oncology ManagerWellDoc buys Oncology Care Home Health Specialists: Baltimore-based WellDoc acquired home health consulting company Oncology Care Home Health Specialists for an undisclosed sum. The move will help WellDoc more quickly develop its oncology solution, which it expects will be a complement to its already FDA-approved DiabetesManager. WellDoc has integrated Oncology Care’s proprietary intellectual property and care algorithms into its own WellDoc Automated Expert Analytics System, which better positions WellDoc to offer coaching and clinical support to cancer patients and their providers over the Internet and through mobile phones. More

Doro's mobile phones for seniorsDoro buys Android developer: Doro, a Swedish telecom company that creates easy to use mobile devices for seniors, has acquired Prylo SAS, a France-based Android developer, reports InvestInEU. The purchase price for the company was 1.35 million EUR. The news comes shortly after Doro competitor GreatCall, which offers the senior-focused Jitterbug mobile phone service, announced its first smartphone app: MedCoach for the iPhone. Doro’s upcoming products will run on the Android OS. Prylos SAS has an impressive history, which lead to it being acquired: It previously developed mobile applications for French telecom operators including SFR, Ten and mobile health applications for INRA and Mobile Health. In 2010, it began focusing on applications for seniors, and were selected to participate in a program financed by the French government, called Proxima mobile, by developing a mobile application (called Tel & Age) that provides seniors with services related to comfort, assistance and health. 

The app will be available soon in France. More

PeaksawarePeaksware acquires app from Scottish developer: US health and fitness company Peaksware announced that it had acquired a fitness app from Scotland-based Screenmedia. Peaksaware, develops software systems to help individuals and professionals achieve health, fitness and peak performance, but had not yet offered mobile solutions. The app, previously called Sprint GPS Fitness Tracking is designed to help walkers, runners and cyclists track their activities and monitor their fitness levels. It measures distance, time, speed, pace, calories and altitude in real-time. Other features: ghost running, detailed in-app statistics, and sharing tools. The app is now rebranded as four different apps: ‘Run Tracker Pro' for runners, ‘Cycle Tracker Pro' for cyclists, ‘Walk Tracker Pro' and ‘Walk Tracker Free' for walkers. More

Humana acquires stake in Vitality: Humana has acquired a stake in South Africa-based Discovery Holdings to launch a joint venture with the company called HumanaVitality, which will provide Humana members with wellness tools and rewards. Humana will own 25 percent of The Vitality Group, Discovery’s US subsidiary, which will also offer wellness solution to US employers that are not necessarily Humana customers. More

AppointmentCityHealthagen acquires AppointmentCity: Healthagen, which offers the popular iTriage mobile health app, announced the acquisition of AppointmentCity, a mobile-enabled service that helps consumers more easily book appointments at hospitals, urgent care facilities, physicians’ offices and more. The functionality is a natural add-on to iTriage’s current offering, which includes a patient self-assessment guide, laction-based facility locator information and wait times at participating care facilities. No financial details about the deal were disclosed. More

USA Mobility buys Amcom: Wireless paging giant USA Mobility bought Amcom Software for $163.3 million in cash. USA Mobility used $110.8 million of cash on hand and $52.5 million through a credit facility from Wells Fargo Capital Finance. The acquisition helps modernize USA Mobility’s messaging services beyond legacy paging services and into messaging and unified communications. More

Wallace Wireless WIC PagerVocera buys Wallace Wireless: Vocera has acquired Toronto-based Wallace Wireless, a competitor that enables healthcare professionals to send pages, text messages, and alerts through their smartphones. Wallace says its system is “secure, reliable, and traceable” and works over both WiFi and cellular networks. Vocera did not disclose the acquisition sum. Healthcare has proven to be a core vertical for Wallace Wireless, but its offering has found a home in any industry that is weaning off its use of pagers. Wallace counts 200 customer sites across North America in healthcare, finance, public safety and more. More

Wolters Kluwer buys Lexi-Comp: Wolters Kluwer Health, a clinical reference information provider that among other things offers the UpToDate series of Web and mobile apps, has announced plans to acquire another big name in mobile medical reference: Lexi-Comp. Wolters Kluwer described the deal as “the latest in a series of strategic acquisitions” for its clinical solutions business, which focuses on point of care services. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The company stated that the acquisition would “enable pharmacist, physician and nurse customers to use an extended suite of mobile capabilities and online platforms, making access to critical medical information more convenient than ever before.” More

Augme buys JagTag: Mobile marketing company Augme Technologies, which has a core focus on health-related mobile marketing, recently acquired Jagtag, which develops bar codes and QR codes, for about $5.5 million in (mostly) stock. The startup had previously raised $3.6 million. Augme said the technology will be leveraged by its pharmaceutical company customers. "Augme expects that its combined resources with Jagtag will create a premier mobile marketing provider for brands, agencies, pharmaceutical/health and media companies." More

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NASA astronaut Scott Kelly checks out the Microsoft HoloLens aboard a space station on February 20, 2016. The device is part of NASA's project Sidekick, which is exploring the use of augmented reality to reduce crew training requirements and increase the efficiency with which astronauts can work in space. (Photo by NASA via Getty Images)