44 digital health mergers, acquisitions from 2017

By Jonah Comstock
10:52 am

Both the fourth quarter and the whole year started strong for digital health acquisitions but finished weak. The quarter started out with six acquisitions in October, but didn’t see another until December. The year saw 12 and 14 acquisitions each in the first two quarters, respectively, which dropped to nine in the third and nine more in the fourth.

As is our tradition, we’ve rounded up the 44 digital health acquisitions of 2017 below. We’ve excluded larger deals that might have digital health implications, like the CVS-Aetna deal or the many health system mergers this quarter. Deals with disclosed price tags are listed from highest to lowest value, while undisclosed deals are listed below in chronological order. If another acquisition breaks before the end of the year, or we hear about one we missed, we’ll update this piece. (Update: Just a few hour after publication, already updating with Cigna's acquisition of Brighter, below. Also updated 1/19 to include Digital Health Corp acquiring ConstantTherapy back in May.)

Internet Brands acquires WebMD  — $2.8B Internet Brands, a portfolio company of KKR, announced its intention to acquire WebMD Health Corp., operators of the popular WebMD website, for about $2.8 billion. The transaction is expected to close during the fourth quarter. Internet Brands' health vertical serves millions of consumers and more than 50,000 healthcare practices utilizing a multi-brand, multi-product approach. The company is the leading SaaS web hosting player in the health space, serving a wide variety of practice areas, including dental, chiropractic, veterinary, vision care, and mental and physical therapy. More.

Teladoc acquires Best Doctors — $440M Only one of the second quarter’s 12 digital health acquisitions had a disclosed purchase price. Late in the quarter, Teladoc acquired Best Doctors, a virtual medical consultation company, to enable a connected care platform focused on improving outcomes for some of the most complex medical conditions. Under the terms of the deal, Teladoc will pay $375 million cash and $65 million of Teladoc common stock. The company reports it has secured $360 million in financing from Jefferies Finance LLC and Jefferies Group LLC.

This acquisition takes Teladoc out of the realm of its current repertoire of offering primary care, common dermatology conditions, and behavioral health (which it mainly does through episodic care) and into a wider spectrum of medical conditions, including those that are critical and often expensive. More.

HMS Holdings acquires Eliza — $170M Irving, Texas-based HMS Holdings, which owns a number of subsidiaries that offer software tools for payers, acquired health engagement platform provider Eliza Corporation for a cash purchase price of $170 million.

Eliza was attractive to HMS for a number of reasons. The company has a strong presence with many major US health plans including Medicaid and Medicare, and it offers tools not just to improve the consumer experience, but to increase organizations’ revenue and renewal rates, as well as improve quality of care delivery and cost efficiencies. The cloud-based platform uses proprietary predictive analytics, behavioral science and data-driven outreach methodologies that have led to Eliza accruing more than 50 domestic and international patents and patent applications (which will all go to HMS under the acquisition). More.

Castlight acquires Jiff — $135M San Francisco-based Castlight Health, which offers consumers a personalized health shopping platform, announced the strategic acquisition of Mountain View, California-based digital health benefits platform Jiff. Castlight paid about $135 million in the form of 27 million Castlight shares and options issued to Jiff equity holders.

Jiff and Castlight's offerings (not to mention existing customer bases) complement each other well. Castlight offers a suite of transparency tools that employers can offer their employees to save money on healthcare costs, while Jiff provides a platform for connecting employees to different vendors for health and wellness programs. The combined platform, the companies said in a press release, "will seek to improve every aspect of an employee’s health experience: from staying healthy, to accessing care, to managing a condition.” More.

Welltok acquires Tea Leaves — $83M Health enterprise software company Welltok acquired Tea Leaves Health from j2 Global subsidiary Ziff Davis for $83 million in October. Tea Leaves Health is an analytics company that works with healthcare systems and hospitals to provide three different services: customer relationship management, physician relationship management, and a decision support capability that connects patients with services both in the clinic and in the broader community.

Welltok's current offering is geared at health plans, employers, and retail pharmacies. Through services like Cafewell Concierge, WellTok provides consumer health services to patients outside the healthcare system. The acquisition will give Welltok a foothold with provider groups as well. More.

athenahealth acquires Praxify — $63M Cloud-based EHR company athenahealth announced in June its intentions to buy Silicon Valley company Praxify Technologies in a $63 million deal. Praxify comes with a number of applications, including a personal assistant program integrated with EHRs and artificial intelligence aimed at patient engagement.

The acquisition of Praxify will advance athenahealth's platform strategy and mobile capabilities. Praxify has invested in developing machine learning and natural language processing technology over the years. More at HITN.

NextGen acquires Eagle Dream Health $26M  — NextGen Healthcare Information Systems, a subsidiary of Quality Systems, agreed to pay $26 million to acquire EagleDream Health, a cloud-based analytics outfit that optimizes practice performance using clinical, financial, and administrative data. NextGen is a healthcare information technology and services company that delivers foundational capabilities to organizations that want to promote healthy communities. This marks the second major asset acquired by NextGen this year, following its purchase of Entrada. More.

Fitbit acquires Vector — $15M Following on its acquisition of Pebble, and the company's announcement at CES that it would be developing an app store, Fitbit announced another smartwatch acquisition: Vector, a year-old Romanian startup that boasts a smartwatch with a 30-day battery life. Though the terms were undisclosed at the time, Fitbit revealed in its quarterly report that it paid $15 million for the startup.

Vector could potentially have a lot to offer Fitbit as it enters the smartwatch business. Like Pebble, Vector has its own app store that developers can build for. Vector delivers on its 30-day battery life by skimping on other smartwatch features: it eschews the touch screen in favor of side buttons and limits the Bluetooth communication between phone and watch. But it does deliver features like activity tracking without having to be charged every night like an Apple Watch. More.

Proactive MD acquires Verimoov — Greenville, South Carolina-based Proactive MD, which offers onsite health management services to employers (including full direct primary care services) acquired Charlotte, North Carolina-based Verimoov, an employee wellness and patient engagement company offering a mobile app to track employees' movement and activity. The terms of the acquisition were undisclosed. Apparently Proactive MD acquired the startup to boost its patient engagement game. More.

Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative acquires Meta — The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, a philanthropic pursuit from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Dr. Priscilla Chan, a pediatrician, has acquired a startup, Meta, focused on using AI and machine learning to sift through recently published scientific studies. The terms of the acquisition were undisclosed.

In an effort similar to the work IBM Watson is doing in oncology, Meta seeks to bring AI and machine learning to bear on the problem of doctors not being able to keep up with the wealth of medical literature that grows every year. The company has already created some tools that do just that. But they will work with the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative to scale their work and make it available more widely. More.

GoodRx and Iodine merge — Santa Monica, California-based GoodRx, a digital cost transparency tool specifically for medication, has merged with San Francisco-based Iodine, which offers a similar tool for quality assessment and information on medications. The merger took the place at the end of 2016 but was not publicly announced until this year. The terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

The companies will continue to work out of their respective headquarters and haven't shown any signs of shuttering either brand. The two companies first began collaborating in August 2016, working on a project to incorporate drug-pricing data into Iodine’s existing content. More.

DrFirst acquires VisibilityRx — Rockville, Maryland-based DrFirst, which provides healthcare SaaS offerings ranging from medication management to clinical communications, has acquired clinical trial recruitment provider VisibilityRx. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The aim of the acquisition is to offer VisibilityRx’s patient identification, recruitment, and communication capabilities to DrFirst’s 60,000 physician clients. More.

RxWiki and TeleManager merge — Austin, Texas-based RxWiki, which offers a medication encyclopedia written and edited by pharmacists as well as tools to help community pharmacists communicate with consumers, has merged with TeleManager Technologies, a Newark, New Jersey-based provider of interactive voice response (IVR) and telecommunication technologies for pharmacies. The two companies will operate under the new name Digital Pharmacist. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

By combining their assets, the companies are able to offer a wider variety of services to independent pharmacies, including IVR and digital channels for communicating with patients and mobile apps. More.

Medfusion acquires NexSched — Patient engagement company Medfusion has acquired NexSched, which makes a patient-facing appointment scheduling tool. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Medfusion started out as a patient portal company in 2000. The company was acquired by Intuit in 2011 and then re-acquired by its original owner in 2013. It added a payment offering in 2015, shortly before a $3 million funding raise. NexSched is an appointment scheduling platform that lets patients access a doctor’s schedule in a limited way and set their own appointments, leading to fewer no-shows and a decreased call volume. More.

GlobalMed acquires TreatMD — Miami-based TreatMD, a telemedicine company that uses a platform approach to connect patients and physicians around the world, has been acquired by site-to-site telemedicine technology group GlobalMed. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

GlobalMed has mostly focused on creating hardware and software to enable site-to-site telemedicine within hospitals and health systems, while TreatMD enables direct-to-consumer telemedicine. The acquisition could signal a move for GlobalMed further into the patient-facing telemedicine space. Certainly, GlobalMed is acquiring TreatMD to expand its available services. More.

GE Healthcare acquires Monica Healthcare — UK-based Monica Healthcare was acquired by GE Healthcare. While the terms of the deal were not disclosed, investor Catapult Ventures shared that it received a 3.5-times return on its investment. MobiHealthNews's reporting has the company's total funding to date around $7 million.

Founded in 2005, Monica Healthcare was one of the early players in the digital health space. GE Healthcare's relationship with the company isn't totally new: it has been a distribution partner since 2015. According to Catapult Ventures, Monica's technologies were used by more than 100,000 patients last year at approximately 1,000 sites across Europe, Asia and North America. More.

Digital Pharmacist acquires PocketRx — Digital Pharmacist, the company formed in January from a merger of RxWiki and TeleManager, made its first acquisition at the end of the quarter: an app called PocketRx, made by Shreveport, Louisiana-based software development company Praeses. The terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

PocketRx is an app to help patients manage their prescriptions, and is sold to pharmacy chains including Denver Health Pharmacy, USave Pharmacy, and Owen's Healthcare, who in turn offer the app to their customers. This is the same business model Digital Pharmacist uses. The two companies will work to integrate their offerings into one, and existing PocketRx customers will immediately have access to the Digital Pharmacist suite. More.

Sense Health and Voxiva merge — In April, healthcare communications software companies Sense Health and Voxiva merged to form Wellpass, a messaging platform to connect payers, providers, and the patients they serve. By joining forces, the two companies are blending sizable customer bases and an experience working with the complex organization structures of Medicaid programs. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Wellpass is an integrated messaging and patient engagement platform that allows health plans and providers to send text and secure messages to individuals or entire groups, enabling organizations to create condition-specific programs, enroll members in existing programs, and also mitigate gaps in care with appointment reminders and eligibility determination. The new venture launches with a solid portfolio of customers and established programs. To date, Sense Health and Voxiva have together impacted over 3 million people, and the merger enters the market with an existing client base of more than 30 health provider organizations, over 70 state Medicaid health plans. More.

Intermedix acquires WPC Healthcare — Early in the quarter, information technology company Intermedix acquired Nashville-based WPC Healthcare, a data analytics company that works with hospitals and payers to improve compliance, outcomes, data management, and patient engagement. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Intermedix, which makes cloud-based SaaS for healthcare providers, government agencies, and corporations, has been building on its data analytics for healthcare platforms since 2015 in effort to improve provider performance and care quality. The acquisition of WPC Healthcare marks the company’s first clinical analytics offering. With the addition of WPC’s machine learning capabilities, Intermedix aims to improve clinical and financial outcomes for hospitals, health systems, and payers. More.

HIMSS acquires Health 2.0 — This quarter also saw MobiHealthNews’s parent company HIMSS announcing the acquisition of Health 2.0, the conference organization focused on healthcare technology innovation. HIMSS CEO H. Stephen Lieber said that while HIMSS has traditionally focused on mainstream technologies deployed by hospitals, networks, and physician groups, the acquisition will make it possible for HIMSS to have a greater influence on the cutting edge of health IT. More.

Medidata acquires Mytrus — In late April, Medidata, a New York City-based company that offers cloud storage and data analytics services for clinical trials, announced its plans to acquire Mytrus, a clinical trial technology company focused on patient-focused electronic informed consent and remote trials. The terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Medidata will roll up Mytrus' main product, Enroll, into its existing Patient Cloud of patient-facing services. It will add capabilities that allow trial organizers to educate patients about the clinical trial experience with multimedia and interactive content; help site investigators to better understand patient questions and open up dialogue with patients; and increase patient retention and compliance by improving remote tracking of consent, document management, and version control. More.

DocuTAP acquires Clockwise.MD — Souix Falls, South Dakota-based DocuTAP, which makes tablet-based EMR and practice management software, acquired Atlanta-based Clockwise.MD, a maker of mobile appointment-booking software, toward the end of April. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

In a short post on the company's website, DocuTAP CEO Eric McDonald described the move — his company's first acquisition — as a way to bolster DocuTAP's patient engagement capabilities.

"Because Clockwise.MD has started to own the patient engagement space, and because their products and service are unbeatable, it made sense to unite the strength of two dynamic companies into one," McDonald wrote. "The result is a new and stronger DocuTAP with an expanded slate of products including Clockwise.MD’s patient engagement solutions Queue and Survey.” More.

Apple acquires Beddit — In May, Apple acquired consumer-facing sleep tracking company Beddit for an undisclosed amount. This is an interesting acquisition for Apple, which has largely eschewed the sleep tracking space even as it has become commoditized for the rest of the wearable tracker space.

Beddit's website suggests that its offerings and customer experience will remain unchanged, at least for the moment. Beddit was already iPhone compatible, synced with the Health app, and its latest model, Beddit 3 Sleep Tracker, was already available in Apple retail stores. Beddit added an Apple Watch app in 2014 and relaunched it for WatchOS 2 in 2015. More.

(Apple also acquired an AI startup called Lattice. While we’re not ready to classify it as a digital health acquisition, we did note that the startup has a history in healthcare.)

The Wellness Network acquires Milner-Fenwick — The Wellness Network, a Pewaukee, Wisconsin-based television and digital media network for hospitals, acquired patient education video publisher Milner-Fenwick in May. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Together, the companies’ customer base will account for half of the hospitals in the United States. With the acquisition of Hunt Valley, Maryland-based Milner-Fenwick, The Wellness Network immediately ups its customer base to 3,200 hospitals and gains 690 peer-reviewed health education videos. Milner-Fenwick, which has functioned as a small, family-owned company for more than four decades, will continue producing videos as a subsidiary of the Wellness Network. More.

Digital Health Corp acquires Constant Therapy — The Digital Health Corp, a holding company that consists mostly of home therapy startup Reflexion Health, acquired Constant Therapy, a Boston-based company that makes mobile tools for treating traumatic brain injury, stroke, aphasia, and learning disorders. Constant Therapy will be rebranded as The Learning Corp, but will otherwise continue to develop its mobile therapy tools and offer them to patients. More.

Medvivo acquires Expert 24 — UK-based Medvivo, which provides integrated services ranging from telemedicine to connecting people with primary care outside of normal office hours, has acquired clinical decision support company Expert 24. The purchase price of the deal was not disclosed, but investment firm Eight Roads provided the funds. The acquisition of Expert 24 (which will require hiring more UK-based developers) will help the company build up its offerings and expand throughout the UK, Europe, and the United States. More.

GTCR acquires GreatCall — In June, GreatCall, the San Diego company that started out making smartphones for seniors in 2006 but now offers a suite of connected safety products for aging in place individuals, was acquired by Chicago-based private equity firm GTCR. The amount of the deal was not disclosed.

According to GTCR Managing Director Lawrence Fey, the plan is to keep the GreatCall team on board and let them run the company in much the same way they have up until now. The biggest change the firm has in mind is that GTCR, which has some security alarm companies in its portfolio, believes it can improve the performance of GreatCall's 5Star call center. More.

Main Capital Partners acquires Verklizan — Dutch investment company Main Capital Partners acquired a majority stake in Verklizan, a Dutch telehealth infrastructure company. Currently Verklizan operates in the Netherlands, Germany, England, France, and Spain, but one of the goals of the acquisition is to support continued international expansion. Verklizan offers a "innovative, cloud-based, Connected Healthcare platform for social alarms and remote care," according to the company. The company currently offers its UMO platform to 300 provider customers, serving more than a million patients altogether. More.

Roche acquires mySugr — At the end of June, Roche announced it would become the exclusive shareholder of diabetes management app company mySugr.

Under the agreement, mySugr will continue to function as a separate legal entity, but will serve as the central point of Roche Diabetes Care’s patient-focused digital health services. In turn, the global footprint of Roche will be a boon for mySugr’s international expansion, but its expanded role will not limit any other projects or partnerships the digital health company may wish to take on. More.

Philips acquires Health & Parenting — In a move to solidify its’ presence in consumer digital health, Royal Philips acquired London-based Health & Parenting Ltd, a developer of healthcare and family-focused mobile apps. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. The acquisition will serve to bolster Philips’ uGrow digital parenting platform, which features a pregnancy and infant-tracking app that connects with a range of smart baby products including the Philips Avent Smart Baby monitor. More.

Veritas Genetics acquires Curoverse — Veritas Genetics, a leader in whole-genome sequencing, has acquired computing and bio-informatics firm Curoverse for an undisclosed amount. Curoverse provides infrastructure for life sciences companies to manage large datasets, including an open-source platform called Arvados. The acquisition isn't totally unexpected, since the two companies have a strong existing relationship. Not only were both companies cofounded by Harvard professor Dr. George Church, but Veritas and Curoverse have worked together on Harvard's Personal Genome Project. More.

Alphabet acquires Senosis — Alphabet (the Google parent company formerly known as Google) acquired a small, Seattle-based startup called Senosis Health. According to Senosis' now-inactive website, the company has created three health apps which use the smartphone's built-in sensors to monitor different health biomarkers. One app, BiliCam, uses the smartphone's camera to screen for newborn jaundice. Another, SpiroSmart, turns the smartphone's microphone into a spirometer. The third and final offering, HemaApp, uses the smartphone camera to measure hemoglobin in the bloodstream. The terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. More.

GetInsured acquires ACAExpress — GetInsured, a Mountain View, California-based company that makes web tools for easy insurance enrollment, has acquired ACAExpress and its sister brand Benefit Geek, which work with insurance brokers to facilitate enrollments under the Affordable Care Act. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. More.

Tabula Rasa acquires SinfoníaRx — Tabula Rasa Healthcare, a healthcare technology company focused on medication safety, completed its acquisition of SinfoníaRx, a provider of Medication Therapy Management (MTM) technology and services for Medicare, Medicaid, and Commercial Health plans. The terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. The acquisition allows Tabula Rasa to expand its MTM programs to strategic markets — namely Part D providers, commercial payers, pharmacy benefit managers, and self-funded employers. More.

Livongo acquires Diabeto — Mountain View, California-based Livongo Health, the chronic condition management technology company founded by former Allscripts CEO Glen Tullman, has acquired Diabeto, a diabetes management company based in Piscataway, New Jersey in the US and Maharashtra in India. The terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. While the impetus for the acquisition was making Diabeto's connectivity assets available to Livongo users, Livongo isn't dismantling Diabeto's existing business, which will continue to work with consumers and enterprise partners. More.

Generali Global Assistance acquires CareLinx — Generali Global Assistance, the US division of Europ Assistance Group, has acquired CareLinx, a 7-year-old digital health startup that offers a matching service for families and caregivers. The terms of the deal were undisclosed. Generali has several assistance-related businesses in the US and overseas, including a travel assistance and roadside assistance business. CareLinx will be incorporated as its own elderly assistance business and will retain its full team, office, and brand. More.

Staywell and Vitals divvy up MedHelp — In October, Yardley, Pennsylvania-based StayWell announced its acquisition of the mobile health portion of Silicon Valley-based MedHelp, which includes several consumer-facing mobile health apps. StayWell told MobiHealthNews that MedHelp will be split into two halves, with healthcare transparency company Vitals acquiring MedHelp's patient network services. The Staywell half of the deal is arguably not an acquisition, as both companies were already subsidiaries of pharma giant Merck.

With the acquisition, StayWell will extend its reach to the 3 million users of MedHelp's platform and acquire the digital health company’s extensive portfolio of mobile health apps. These include the diabetes-focused Sugar Sense and My Diet Diary, as well as women’s health apps My Cycles and I’m Expecting. Vitals, meanwhile, will merge the patient networks into Vitals Consumer Services, and retain some of MedHelp’s employees and facilities in the deal. More and More.

Avizia acquires Carena — Telehealth platform provider Avizia announced its acquisition of Seattle-based virtual care provider Carena to further strengthen its position as a system-wide telehealth partner for US healthcare systems. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“This acquisition combines two of the nation’s leading virtual care platforms,” Mike Baird, CEO of Avizia, said in a statement. “With Carena’s select provider network, Avizia empowers hospitals with the most comprehensive, customizable, and trusted telehealth solution available.” More.

Azalea Health acquires Prognosis Innovation Healthcare — Atlanta-based Azalea Health, a health IT software firm focused on rural practices and mobile tools, acquired Houston-based EHR company Prognosis Innovation Healthcare. The companies said in a letter to Prognosis clients that the EHR company will continue to operate underneath Azalea with no major interruptions in services or staffing.

In a statement, Azalea said that Prognosis’ expertise in IT, billing, and reporting for rural health clinics and hospitals strongly matches their own focus on the rural market. By integrating their services, Azalea will be adding nearly 40 hospitals to its user base and will be well positioned to further expand into critical access and small community hospitals while delivering a complete continuum of care. More.

Bracket acquires mProve Health — To improve its efforts to bring digital technology to clinical research, Bracket acquired mProve Health, a provider of various mobile technologies for life sciences-focused customers. The terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

The acquisition will allow the companies to bring together their technologies to mobile-enabled clinical trials, and specifically to improve patient engagement by allowing study participants to use their own devices for data collection or other purposes. Bracket says that having these technologies at its disposal will place it in an advantageous position over its competition, who will be forced to retrofit their platforms to support mobile health technologies and strategies for clinical trials. More.

Phillips acquires VitalHealth — Just this month, Royal Philips acquired VitalHealth for its cloud-based population health management technology. Philips has been broadening its pop health business in recent years. It acquired Wellcentive in 2016, giving it an informatics platform to help organizations better aggregate and analyze clinical, claims, and financial data across hospital and health systems.

VitalHealth has a portfolio of telehealth applications for patient engagement, as well as a care coordination platform to help care providers better integrate data from across care settings. Officials said it will complement Philips Wellcentive’s solution to help improve patient outcomes, as the combined portfolios will enable healthcare providers to better identify and manage high-risk, high-cost patient populations. More.

Doctor.com acquires Connect Healthcare — New York City-based Doctor.com, a company that helps physicians manage their online presence and book appointments, just yesterday announced its merger with Connect Healthcare, a company which specializes in physician directories and data management, under the Doctor.com brand for an undisclosed sum. The merger could help the company develop some of its provider directories and reputation monitoring abilities. More.

Cigna acquires Brighter — Health insurer Cigna announced just today that it has acquired digital health software-as-a-service company Brighter. Cigna has been working with Brighter for some time. It will use the technology and team to develop future member-facing mobile and desktop tools, as well as continuing to run Brighter as a tool for its existing customers.

Brighter, which started out in dentistry but has since branched out into other healthcare areas, developed a site that helps users find and compare providers. The service allows users to compare out-of-pocket expenses based on the user’s health plan, view provider profiles that include background and credentials, see reviews from other patients, and schedule appointments online. In addition, administrators can use Brighter’s backend for administrative tasks, which includes sending patients surveys, keeping their calendar updated, and reminding patients about follow-up appointments. More.


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