Was mobile key to Ebix's $66M ADAM buy?

By Brian Dolan
07:16 am

A.D.A.M. Medzio AppEbix, an international supplier of on demand software and ecommerce services to the insurance industry has agreed to acquire and merge with medical education software developer ADAM in a deal valued at about $66 million, according to the companies.

ADAM's recent activity in mobile health may suggest one reason a company focused on the insurance industry acquired it: Just last week Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-based health insurance provider Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield launched an iPhone app, Health@Hand, co-developed with ADAM and based on its Medzio application.

ADAM's Medzio app was once called a "super app" because it is a rollup of other popular apps and offerings from big name partners including: CallMD, Dr. Greene, Health 2.0, Healthcare Blue Book, HealthiNation, HelloHealth, Livestrong, Norton Healthcare and Organized Wisdom. Medzio offers symptom navigation, first aid info, GPS-enabled local listings for care centers (with maps and directions) and more. Medzio encapsulated ADAM's short term mobile strategy but the company had longterm plans for the mobile platform.

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Here's how ADAM's SVP of Product Strategy Greg John summed up the mobile health opportunity for ADAM in an interview with MobiHealthNews back in March 2009:

"We think that with the iPhone, for the first time mobile phones are an extension of the desktop computer. They aren’t the same as a desktop, though–you aren’t going to use your mobile phone to research a potentially serious condition you may have. You aren’t going to sit there and read volumes of information about it from a phone. We have that type of information and if you have multiple sclerosis, you can go to A.D.A.M. and read about it, but you’re going to want to sit at a computer and do that instead of thumbing through a little screen. What a mobile phone is for is really convenient access to health information wherever you need and wherever you are–we all understand that."

"First and foremost, the cell phone is a communication device, so tying together health information you might need in a particular point in time–like a symptom–with the ability to make a phone call and things get interesting. Add in GPS functionalities so you can locate care facilities for consumers to actually call, and I think you have a powerful suite of services for consumers on the go."

For more of our coverage on ADAM:

Interview: ADAM from CD-ROMs to iPhones
A.D.A.M. Medzio app launches for iPhone
Highmark BCBS taps ADAM for iPhone app
CallMD joins ADAM’s Mobile Health Network


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