Merkle acquires mobile health partner of Pfizer, Medtronic

By Brian Dolan

5th Finger MerkleMerkle, a customer relations management (CRM) company has acquired San Francisco-based 5th Finger, a mobile marketing and mobile health vendor for an undisclosed sum. While 5th Finger has a number of big retail brands as clients, including Jos. A Bank and Safeway, it has also powered Pfizer, Medtronic, and GlaxoSmithKline's mobile health initiatives.

The company set up a text messaging-powered pediatric vaccine adherence program for Pfizer called Vaxtext in April 2011. The pilot program launched in four states last year in partnership with local health groups like state vaccine boards and physicians groups. It leveraged in-clinic marketing and providers to drive adoption. The text messages included educational messaging, schedule reminders and health care provider data to help parents meet child vaccine goals.

5th Finger also helped develop an app for Medtronic, the Medtronic VCF Mobile app, which aims to help healthcare providers, potential patients, and surgeons to make treatment options for vertebral compression fractures, including Balloon Kyphoplasty as an alternate procedure. The first version of the app launched more than two years ago and Medtronic has since created an iPad version of the app.

5th Finger has previously described its product suite for mobile health, called RedShop Rx, as focused on medication adherence, health tracking, wellness education, engagement, gamification, and sales support functions.