Nine digital health mergers and acquisitions from the first quarter of 2018

By Jonah Comstock
02:08 pm

(This story has been updated to include some acquisitions we missed.)

The first quarter of 2018 was light on mergers and acquisitions compared to previous quarters, but those that did crop up were significant, including major companies like Fitbit, Allscripts, Roche, and Johnson & Johnson. As usual, we'll recap the quarter's exits in descending order by price tag, with the undisclosed deals listed in chronological order below.

Johnson & Johnson gets offer to sell Lifescan to Platinum Equity ​— Though the deal won't officially close until the end of the year, Johnson & Johnson announced a binding offer from Platinum Equity to acquire Johnson & Johnsons' Chesterbrook, Pennsylvania- and Zug, Switzerland-based LifeScan business, which sells the OneTouch line of connected and non-connected glucometers. Platinum Equity will pay $2.1 billion for the business, which reported $1.5 billion in net revenue last year. LifeScan President Valerie Asbury would continue to lead the business, as Platinum Equity plans to make the transition as seamless as possible for customers. More.

Roche to acquire Flatiron Health — Pharma giant Roche announced its intention to acquire oncology EHR software firm Flatiron Health in the first half of 2018, the companies announced today in a statement. Roche will pay an additional $1.9 billion over the millions it had already invested into the company in 2016, and as a result of the deal will control all shares of Flatiron Health.

“This is an important step in our personalized healthcare strategy for Roche, as we believe that regulatory-grade real-world evidence is a key ingredient to accelerate the development of, and access to, new cancer treatments,” Roche Pharmaceuticals CEO Daniel O’Day said in the statement. “As a leading technology company in oncology, Flatiron Health is best positioned to provide the technology and data analytics infrastructure needed not only for Roche, but for oncology research and development efforts across the entire industry. A key principle of this is to preserve Flatiron’s autonomy and their ability to continue providing their services to all existing and future partners.” More.

Allscripts acquires Practice Fusion ​— EHR vendor Allscripts acquired Practice Fusion, a smaller EHR vendor that was an early purveyor of mobile-enabled EHRs and a frequent subject of IPO speculation, for $100 million. Some 30,000 ambulatory sites, serving about 5 million patient each month, currently use Practice Fusion EHR, practice management, e-prescribing, lab, and patient portal technology.

"Combined with Practice Fusion, we expect Allscripts to continue to drive innovation in addressing gaps-in-care, improving clinical outcomes and real-world-evidence research," Allscripts President Rick Poulton said in a statement. "Plus, Practice Fusion’s affordable EHR technology supports traditionally hard-to-reach independent physician practices, and its cloud-based infrastructure aligns with Allscripts' forward vision for solution delivery." More.

InTouch Health acquires TruClinic — InTouch Health, which markets an enterprise telehealth platform, announced in January that it would be acquiring TruClinic, which specializes in direct-to-consumer online virtual care. The goal of the deal is for InTouch to expand its existing portfolio to deliver a fuller range of virtual care programs to healthcare provider organizations, better enabling continuity of care between physicians and patients, InTouch officials said at the time.

InTouch Health will incorporate TruClinic's software into its offering such that patients can now initiate and receive a consult with their health system physician from their home, further extending InTouch Health's telehealth system across the continuum of care. More.

AccessOne acquires HealthFirst Financial — In January, patient financing company AccessOne announced the acquisition of HealthFirst Financial, a software-enabled service provider of patient financing programs to healthcare organizations, for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition will allow AccessOne to offer healthcare systems tailored health products — including mobile tools — for their care setting, with the goal of lowering bad debt and improving patient satisfaction scores. More.

StayWell acquires Provata — Merck subsidiary StayWell, which offers a preventative health platform for employers, health plans, and health systems, acquired Provata Health for an undisclosed sum in February. Provata Health makes a digital health platform for employee wellness, which includes a chronic disease management program incorporating a connected scale and blood pressure monitor; a lifestyle management platform that incorporates an activity tracker; and a mental health platform that incorporates a VR headset.

"We really see this as significantly advancing our capabilities," StayWell CEO Nicole Latimer told MobiHealthNews at the time. "We knew that we would have to get more advanced in terms of offering our programs through mobile devices. Our acquisition of MedHelp was a step in that direction. But as we think about being able to now offer the capabilities that Provata’s platform offers, that advances us by several years. This is something we no longer have to build ourselves, but we can immediately go to market with a very robust set of mobile capabilities. ... Many of the health plans we’ve been working with have been asking for mobile capabilities, so it’s important to have that now rather than in a few years." More.

Fitbit acquires Twine Health — Fitbit announced this quarter that it would acquire healthcare coaching platform Twine Health for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition will help Fitbit continue to enter the healthcare world and expand its offerings to health plans, health systems, and self-insured employers, creating opportunities to increase subscription-based revenue, according to a statement. Eventually Fitbit plans on extending aspects of Twine's offerings to its 25 million device users, as well as expanding Twine into new disease areas.

“We were already intersecting in the market,” Twine CEO John O. Moore, who will now serve as Fitbit’s medical director, told MobiHealthNews. “The one thing we were being asked for by customers that we already had or that we were pursuing was ‘Alright, how do you tie into a more general wellness in our organization?’ and we didn’t have a clean answer to that.” More here and here.

MindBody acquires FitMetrix — San Luis Obispo, California-based wellness platform Mindbody acquired FitMetrix, a performance tracking engagement platform, for an undisclosed sum. The Atlanta-based FitMetrix helps wellness businesses, such as gyms, increase retention by letting the companies engage with users, and track their fitness. The platform allows customers to book classes, track workouts, and get communications from gyms.

FitMetrix and Mindbody originally teamed up in 2015, giving fitness studios and gyms the capability to integrate digital performance tracking into their locations across multiple classes, according to a release. The partnership allowed business to track, rank, and reward clients in real time using customized workout metrics. More.

HIMSS acquires HealthBox — At its global annual conference in March, MobiHealthNews's parent company HIMSS announced the acquisition of HealthBox for its innovation consulting and fund management businesses. Healthbox launched in 2010 as a digital health accelerator, a role it filled for many years as it transitioned to consulting and management.

"Healthcare organizations look at us asking if we can help them think through concepts around digital health or how to bring innovation into their systems," Hal Wolf, HIMSS CEO, told HealthcareITNews at the time. More.


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