Physicians Interactive acquires the rest of its mobile medical app ad network JV

By Brian Dolan
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OmnioTomorrow Networks, a joint venture between mobile clinical resources company Physicians Interactive and New York City-based Remedy Systems, has been acquired in full by Physicians Interactive. Tomorrow Networks billed itself as a mobile advertising network that serve ads specifically targeted to healthcare providers and patients based on their specialties, conditions, and locations -- among other contexts. Remedy Systems also quietly got absorbed by its parent company Remedy Partners last May.

"With 219 million smartphone subscriptions in the U.S. and more than 80 percent of physicians using mobile devices in the workplace, the need to reach people in highly targeted and engaging ways via their mobile devices is becoming increasingly critical as a distribution platform. Tomorrow Networks' innovative, data-driven marketing solutions provide a significant competitive advantage for healthcare marketers looking to drive results," Donato Tramuto, CEO and Chairman of Physicians Interactive, said in a statement about the acquisition. "We are very excited to add Tomorrow Networks to the Physicians Interactive portfolio and continue to build upon the stellar growth they've experienced to date expanding on their unique set of media products and services that have been resonating so well in the marketplace."

When Tomorrow Networks launched in 2011, Remedy Systems provided the developer relations and technology behind the platform, while Physicians Interactive contributed its sales channels, ad operations management, relationships with ad agencies, and its flagship app, Skyscape, as a testbed.

“If you are a healthcare marketer trying to reach healthcare professionals on mobile [devices], there has not been a scalable way to do that with display advertising thus far,” Physicians Interactive President Sanjay Pingle told MobiHealthNews in 2011. “Sure, there have been messaging opportunities and sponsorship opportunities in medical apps, but you have not been able to target cardiologists in Texas, for example. That has not been available historically, but Tomorrow Networks makes that possible.”

Pingle contended at the time that other mobile ad networks might guess if a user was a medical professional based on the medical apps they were using, but Tomorrow Networks actually knows if the users are physicians or nurses and what their specialties are, the company said. At the time, Pingle said the network could, for example, target a nurse who treated patients with multiple sclerosis. Tomorrow also had capabilities for patient-facing mobile ads and it initially pitched it at hospitals and other care providers that wanted to reach a local audience of potential patients.

In its acquisition announcement this week, Physicians Interactive -- which is now mostly owned by the Merck Global Health Innovation Fund -- also revealed that Tomorrow Networks' platform leverages local and regional health data sets, like disease and condition prevalence statistics, prescribing activity and formulary data to better target its clients' ads at the right providers.

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