Home medical equipment rental company acquires caregiver comms app VerbalCare

By Aditi Pai

VerbalCareStoughton, Massachusetts-based Medical Specialties Distributors (MSD), which is a distributor and rental service for home care medical equipment, has acquired Verbal Applications, also known as VerbalCare, which has developed apps that allows care teams to communicate better with their patients.

Verbal Applications will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of MSD.

"The VerbalCare platform serves as bridge between patients and their caregivers that helps to close the communication gap by providing a tool to improve the quality of patient care,” MSD CEO Jim Beck, President said in a statement. “The strategic combination of MSD and VerbalCare enhances the 'Total Enterprise Solution’ we provide our customers which includes other technology products designed to help our customers improve efficiency and patient outcomes.” 

Verbal Applications offers two apps: VerbalCare Patient, a tablet app, and VerbalCare Messenger, an iPhone app for caregivers. VerbalCare Patient allows the patient to build sentences if they have trouble communicating by clicking on icons in the app, for example a patient can piece together "I feel" with "pain" and "in my head". They can then send this message to a family member or caregiver. The caregiver or family member will receive the message in the VerbalCare Messenger app and can then reply back to the patient immediately. Patients can also write custom texts, send quick phrases, or select from a list of favorites.

Verbal Applications explained in a blog post that existing accounts for patients and caregivers will remain active. The existing apps will remain in the app store as well. Verbal Applications will also roll out more features and products moving forward.

“We are thrilled about this opportunity to join forces with MSD, a market leader in a booming home care industry," Verbal Applications Founder Nick Dougherty said in a statement. "Our mission is to give patients a voice. With this collaboration, those patients will speak louder than ever.”

In 2013, VerbalCare participated in Boston, Massachusetts-based accelerator MassChallenge.