Prediction: Alere won't acquire WellDoc this quarter

By Brian Dolan
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Brian Dolan, Editor, MobiHealthNewsIn a recent blog post about its quarterly funding round-up, San Francisco-based health incubator Rock Health wrote that it's "hearing WellDoc will be the first major acquisition announced in Q2." Given WellDoc's stature in mobile health, such a deal would be quite a story.

MedCity News was sure to mention the prediction in its coverage of Rock Health's funding report and VentureBeat appeared to have built on that by doing some homework and coming up with "sources" that told it that WellDoc had "found a buyer". One such source told VentureBeat that the buyer might be Alere, which has a partnership with AT&T to market WellDoc's DiabetesManager offering.

While I have no inside information on this rumored acquisition, I think it's pure speculation. It's not going to happen.

WellDoc has been moving at a good clip since it secured FDA clearance for its mobile-enabled diabetes management offering in 2010. Most recently WellDoc President Anand Iyer told The New York Times last year that sometime early in 2013 two insurers would begin reimbursing patients $100 a month if their doctor suggests they use DiabetesManager.

For a company that eschews the "mobile app" designation and prefers terms like "mobile integrated therapy", it's clear that getting to the reimbursement phase of its DiabetesManager rollout is a huge milestone. Over the years it has also made mention of plans to move into other chronic conditions with similar offerings. In some ways, it's really just the beginning for WellDoc.

It's probably worth noting that MedCity News, which syndicates much of VentureBeat's health-related reporting, removed the VentureBeat Alere-WellDoc piece after publishing it on its site. And, much more interestingly, WellDoc's Chief Commercialization Officer Chris Bergstrom took to Twitter to joke that he heard from sources at Rock Health that VentureBeat had found a buyer and would be acquired in Q2.

While WellDoc won't officially comment on the rumor, I don't think this one has any substance.