Round-up: 33 digital health acquisitions in 2014

By Brian Dolan
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Basis PeakBelow is a roundup of the 33 acquisitions that MobiHealthNews reported on during 2014. That figure marks a near doubling of M&A activity year-over-year: In 2013 we tracked 17  transactions in digital health. Read on for a chronological review of the year in acquisitions:

January 2014 -- HealthSparq acquires Clarus Health Portland, Oregon-based Cambia Health subsidiary HealthSparq, an online shopping platform for healthcare services, acquired ClarusHealth Solutions, an online provider search tool, for an undisclosed amount. The acquisition tripled HealthSparq’s payor clients, bringing the number from 20 to 60 health plans, a total of 60 million consumer users.

January 2014 -- Vocera buys mVisum Healthcare communications company Vocera Communications announced that it had acquired alarm management company mVisum for $3.5 million. The goal of the acquisition was to build out Vocera's alarm management features.

January 2014 -- Bioscape Digital buys PictureRx Atlanta-based Bioscape Digital acquired Chattanooga-based PictureRx to build out its tablet-based patient engagement platform. Bioscape didn't disclose the terms, but strongly implied the deal was more than $2 million. Bioscape Digital’s platform places proprietary Android tablets loaded with text, audio and 3D visual imagery in emergency rooms and imaging centers.

February 2014 -- UnitedHealth Group buys majority stake in Audax Health Optum, a division of the UnitedHealth Group,  purchased a majority stake in Audax Health Solutions in a deal “which included cash, options, preferred stock, and significant working capital,” according to Audax. Contrary to rumors that circulated when the Federal Trade Commission granted UnitedHealth Group a preliminary green light to acquire all of or part of Audax, the deal was not an outright acquisition. CEO Grant Verstandig and President David Ko will continue to lead Audax Health Solutions as “a freestanding investment of Optum,” according to a statement from Audax. 

Sense4Baby Model Bundisclosed sum. MyFitnessPal, a health and fitness data platform that now boasts 50 million registered users, brought the entire Sessions team onboard and, as a result of the acquisition, planned to begin offering its users coaching program. Last month, at Health 2.0's HxR, MyFitnessPal shared a little more about its plans for Sessions.

March 2014 -- Physicians Interactive completes acquisition of Tomorrow Networks Tomorrow Networks, a joint venture between mobile clinical resources company Physicians Interactive and New York City-based Remedy Systems, was 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.

March 2014 -- Intel acquires Basis Science After a few weeks of rumors, Intel confirmed its rumored acquisition of Basis Science, the activity tracker company that makes the high-end Basis B1 Band. TechCrunch first reported the Intel deal and pegged it at between $100 million and $150 million, however, Intel did not disclose any financial details of the Basis acquisition. The startup raised just over $30 million over the years. As part of its announcement, Intel said that the Basis band will still be available through its existing retail channels — which include Best Buy stores. The Basis Science team will continue to build out the product and support the device’s users, and also work on future wearable initiatives with others at Intel.

March 2014 -- AirStrip buys Sense4Baby assets from West Health San Antonio, Texas-based mobile healthcare company AirStrip acquired the assets of wireless monitoring startup Sense4Baby and licensed the associated technology that the startup was founded on from the Gary and Mary West Health Institute. The companies did not disclose the financial terms of the transaction. Sense4Baby raised $4 million from The West Health Investment Fund in early 2013.

Moves-2-on-iPhone-5sundisclosed amount at some point in the past. In April, it announced it was launching Accelerad’s technology, combined with Nuance’s existing networks, under the new name PowerShare Network.

April 2014 -- Opko buys Inspiro Medical Biopharmaceutical company Opko Health has acquired Israeli smart inhaler company Inspiro Medical for a sum in “the low eight figures”, according to Opko’s Director of Strategic Investment Les Funtleyder. The company will be using Inspiro’s Inspiromatic technology to develop an app-connected inhaler that will be bundled with a forthcoming new drug for asthma, COPD, and cystic fibrosis.

April 2014 -- Facebook buys ProtoGeo In what might be the biggest mobile health acquisition of the year, social networking giant Facebook acquired Finland-based fitness app maker Protogeo for an undisclosed sum. The deal signals Facebook's interest in mobile and fitness, but much of the media coverage has focused on dubious changes to Moves' privacy policy post-acquisition.

April 2014 -- Hearst Health acquires CareInSync Hearst Health Network acquired Santa Clara, California-based CareInSync for an undisclosed amount. CareInSync will become part of Zynx Health, an evidence- and experience-based clinical improvement company within the Hearst Health Network, which is itself a recently formed division of the Hearst Corporation.

May 2014 -- Covidien acquires Zephyr Technology In the first of two acquisitions broken by MobiHealthNews in May, medical device giant Covidien acquired sports and medical wearables company Zephyr Technology. Although the terms are still unknown, Zephyr has raised more than $13 million since its founding in 2003 — back when health-sensing wearables were a relative rarity. Zephyr’s investors included 3M New Ventures, Alsop Louie Partners and Motorola Solutions Venture Capital.

Wellobeen circulated for a few months that it has acquired Silicon Valley-based weight loss startup Wello for an undisclosed sum. As Weight Watchers CEO Jim Chambers and CTO Dan Crowe explained on the call, the Wello acquisition is an important component of the company’s strategy to compete in an increasingly digital weight loss market.

May 2014 -- Medtronic buys Corventis In another major deal broken by MobiHealthNews, medical device giant Medtronic acquired peel-and-stick medical sensor company Corventis. While neither company has publicly commented on the deal, it is expected to be officially announced some time in the next few weeks. Initial reports put the deal at $150 million.

May 2014 -- St. Jude to acquire CardioMEMS In 2010, St. Jude invested $60 million in CardioMEMS for 19 percent of the company. They also had an option to purchase the remaining 81 percent of the company for $375 million. When CardioMEMS secured FDA clearance last month, St. Jude Medical said that it now intends to exercise its option to acquire CardioMEMS, and plans on completing the acquisition in the second quarter of 2014.

June 2014 -- Nexercise acquires Sworkit Washington DC-based Nexercise, a mobile-enabled platform that incentivizes users to lose weight and exercise by using competitions and real world rewards annnounced that it had acquired Sworkit. Nexercise will integrate Sworkit's 200 exercises and also leverage the Sworkit platform to offer customized circuit training workouts to its 3 million users.

MedHelp Fit Frenzyreference apps and resources like Skyscape and Omnio to physicians, has acquired one of the oldest, online consumer health brands, MedHelp, for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition marks one of the first forays into consumer health for Physicians Interactive.

July 2014 -- Validic buys Infometers Durham, North Carolina-based health data platform company Validic announced that it had acquired its partner Mountain View, California-based Infometers for an undisclosed sum. Validic’s CEO Ryan Beckland told MobiHealthNews that his company bought Infometers for its technology capabilities and for its team. All full-time Infometers employees have joined Validic, Beckland said, but the number of employees was not disclosed either. The former Infometers team will continue to work out of their Silicon Valley office, which gives Validic a strategic foothold there.

July 2014 -- WebMD buys Therasim “To further enhance our offering for physicians, in early July we made a small acquisition to enhance our patient simulation capabilities,” WebMD’s CEO David Schlanger said during an investor call. MobiHealthNews learned from WebMD VP of Corporate Communication Michael Heinley that the acquired company was TheraSim: “Medscape acquired the TheraSim business in July. TheraSim offers patient simulation technology that replicates physicians’ real-world experiences in clinical decision making and drives application of learning into clinical practice. The acquisition allows Medscape to further evolve and enhance the Medscape experience for health care professionals participating in continuing education.”

August 2014 -- Higi acquires Stayhealthy Health kiosk startup higi has merged with Stayhealthy, another mobile health company that also has a health kiosk business. The two announced the merger last week. The new company will apparently still be known as higi. Higi’s Jeff Bennett will stay on as CEO, while Stayhealthy CEO John Collins will take on the role of Vice Chairman and Director of Innovation.

Lift Labs spoon Google acquisitionmanagement software company, has acquired after-hours virtual visits company Ringadoc for an undisclosed sum. Los Angeles-based Ringadoc was originally incubated in Practice Fusion’s San Francisco offices. Ringadoc connects patients to doctors if they want to avoid using their physicians’ call system. Others who don’t have a physician might also be able to use the service to help them decide whether they should go to the emergency room, the urgent care center, or whether the issue might be handled over the phone.

September 2014 -- Viverae snaps up OneHealth Dallas, Texas-based employee wellness company Viverae acquired behavioral health company OneHealth for an undisclosed sum. Viverae counts 300 clients in various industries throughout the US that use its health management programs. OneHealth’s offerings will bolster Viverae’s by allowing users to anonymously support each others’ emotional and physical health.

September 2014 -- Google buys Lift Labs Google has acquired San Francisco-based Lift Labs, a company that was developing smart utensils for people with Parkinson’s and essential tremor. Lift Labs will join Google[x], which is Google’s secretive innovation lab. Lift Labs is not to be confused with activity and posture tracking wearable device maker Lumo Body Tech, which offers a device called Lumo Lift.

September 2014 -- Preventice, eCardio merge with help from Merck Remote cardiac monitoring company eCardio has agreed to merge

PatientKeeper's charge capture application.

with wearable, remote monitoring device maker Preventice. The new company, which is called Preventice, said the merger will allow it to “drive innovation and growth in remote monitoring systems and mobile health applications”. Preventice’s co-founder Jon Otterstatter will be the president and global strategy officer of the new company, while eCardio’s founder and CEO, Larry Lawson, will take the role of CEO and chairman. Just a few weeks before this merger, The Merck Global Health Innovation Fund acquired eCardio.

October 2014 -- Vitals buys Compass Healthcare Advisers Physician rating platform Vitals has acquired price transparency service Compass Healthcare Advisers. This acquisition will combine Vitals’ rating system with Compass Healthcare Advisers’ price transparency system so that consumers can consider both options when choosing a provider.

October 2014 -- HCA to acquire PatientKeeper The Hospital Corporation of America (HCA), a company that manages 164 hospitals and 114 freestanding surgery centers in 20 states and England, announced itwould be acquiring PatientKeeper, one of the oldest mobile health software companies still in operation, for an undisclosed sum. HCA will continue to operate PatientKeeper as an independent subsidiary, and the company will retain its Waltham, Massachusetts headquarters and its employees, including CEO Paul Brient.

October 2014 -- Netpulse buys Club Apps San Francisco-based Netpulse, which offers fitness clubs software that connects fitness devices and apps to gym equipment, has acquired Atlanta, Georgia-based health club app maker, Club Apps for an undisclosed sum.

November 2014 -- Emdeon acquires Change Healthcare for up to $185M Nashville, Tennessee-based healthcare payment management companyEmdeon has agreed to acquire Nashville-based price transparency companyChange Healthcare for approximately $135 million cash upfront with an additional $50 million in potential earnouts. Change Healthcare has raised at least $34 million to date. Emdeon offers revenue management tools to providers, claims management tools to payors, and prescription management tools to pharmacies. The company will use Change Healthcare’s price transparency services in its payment management offering.

November 2014 -- Sharecare acquires QualityHealth Sharecare, the health and wellness engagement platform founded by WebMD founder Jeff Arnold and television personality Dr. Mehmet Oz, has acquired QualityHealth, a patient identification and engagement platform that works with health systems and pharmaceutical companies, for an undisclosed sum. QualityHealth will be kept more or less intact as its 50 million member database will help Sharecare scale its other offerings.

November 2014 -- MDLive buys Breakthrough Behavioral Sunrise, Florida-based MDLive, which offers telehealth services including patient-to-physician remote visits via mobile devices, has acquired online therapy provider Breakthrough Behavioral. The financial details of the acquisition were not disclosed. Breakthrough Behavioral has raised at least $5.9 million to date. The acquisition will allow MDLive to expand its services and offer patients access to a larger network of medical and mental health specialists.

December 2014 -- SocialWellth buys Happtique New York City-based Happtique, which had developed a health app certification and “prescription” platform, has been acquired by SocialWellth for an undisclosed sum. Happtique was a wholly owned subsidiary of GNYHA Ventures, the for-profit arm of the Greater New York Hospital Association.

December 2014 -- Welch Allyn acquires Interlink's assets Skaneateles Falls, New York-based medical device company Welch Allyn acquired the assets of Omaha, Nebraska-based remote patient monitoring company HealthInterlink. HealthInterlink received FDA 510(k) clearance for Beacon 2.0, a mobile-centric software system that integrates data from various home health devices, in March. Beacon was previously cleared as a class I medical device (MDDS).

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