WebMD acquires Avado to further doctor-patient connectivity efforts

By Jonah Comstock
05:41 am

WebMD iPhone appWebMD has acquired EHR-neutral patient portal Avado for an undisclosed amount, a purchase which will accelerate the company's plans to enhance the connectivity between its recently relaunched WebMD patient app and its physician-facing MedScape app. UPDATE: TechCrunch is reporting a $20 to $30 million price range for the acquisition, citing sources close to the deal.

"Avado has developed a cloud-based patient relationship management solution that will serve as a key building block for our patient engagement platform, supporting a full suite of services connecting patients to their physicians," WebMD CEO David Schlanger said in a recent investor call. "As our health care system evolves and as consumers and health care professionals assume more financial risk for the provision of care, patient engagement and management tools will be essential to producing quality outcomes and reducing costs."

Avado described itself as a cloud-based patient relationship management system for healthcare providers. The platform supported personalized, targeted patient education and the use of trackers to promote treatment adherence. It was a member of both the New York Digital Health Accelerator and StartUp Health. The company was founded by Dave Chase, former head of Microsoft Health, and Bassam Saliba, also a Microsoft veteran. WebMD will keep both Chase and Saliba on, as well as Avado's engineering staff, which will continue to operate out of Seattle, Washington.

"WebMD reaches the largest audience of health-focused consumers and healthcare providers in the U.S. and it's exciting to think that Avado's technology will be built-out and scaled for the benefit of such a significant audience," Chase said in a statement. "What's more, since trust is paramount when it comes to the sharing of health information, it made logical sense for us to be joining the company with the most trusted brand in the US."

Avado raised a $1 million seed round in March from angel investors including Andy Palmer and Dr. Daniel Schwartz. (Correction: A previous version of this article said the company had no announced funding raises.)

Medscape itself was originally a WebMD acquisition, way back in 2001, and has since been the company's main physician-facing product. WebMD took the first steps in connecting Medscape with the WebMD consumer app just last month when it launched a revamped version of the latter.

"This is going to be a long road," Todd Zander, WebMD’s VP of Mobile and Emerging Media, told MobiHealthNews at the time. "We want to connect healthcare professional experiences on mobile with patient experiences on mobile and the first step is to allow doctors to prescribe educational materials to their patients from app to app. They will prescribe from their Medscape app patient education materials and the patient can access that from the WebMD web page or if they have the WebMD app then they can access it from the app."


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