ResMed acquires digital respiratory health company Propeller Health

ResMed is expected to close the $225M deal to purchase the smart inhaler company by March 2019.
By Laura Lovett
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This morning ResMed, maker of connected respiratory devices, announced that it is acquiring Wisconsin-based digital respiratory health company Propeller Health for $225 million. 

ResMed, a publicly traded company, is set to finalize the acquisition of Propeller Health by March 2019, which marks the end of its 2019 fiscal year. 

Propeller is best known for its smart inhalers that help people living with COPD and asthma track and monitor their condition. Its sensor technology attaches to a patient’s inhaler and can send information to a smartphone app, which can give both users and providers insights about medication use. The system is also designed to give users personalized feedback.

As of May the company boasted eight 510(k) clearances and CE markings and was active in 16 different countries. 

After the acquisition, Propeller is expected to remain a standalone company within ResMed’s Respiratory Care portfolio. According to a release from the companies, there will be no immediate management changes. 

The impact 

This deal brings together two of the biggest names in the digital health respiratory arena. ResMed said that Propeller’s ability to cater to people with server COPD will help support its cloud-connected ventilators. It specifically says that it will complement ResMed’s Astral, Stellar, and AirCurve 10ST-A with IVAPS. 

“Acquiring Propeller is a significant step for ResMed toward becoming the global leader in digital health for COPD," ResMed CEO Mick Farrell said in a statement. “By working with Propeller’s existing partners to offer digital solutions for respiratory care pharmaceuticals and building on our proven ability to support digital solutions at scale, we can positively impact the lives of even more of the 380 million people worldwide who are living with this debilitating chronic disease.”

The trend

This marks ResMed’s second major acquisition within a short time frame. At the beginning of November the respiratory company announced a $750 million deal to acquire Minnesota-based EHR company MatrixCare. The MatrixCare acquisition was expected to help ResMed further its foothold in the software-as-a-service space, specifically in the longterm care setting. 

Originally known as Asthmapolis, Propeller Health was founded more than a decade ago, making it one of the earliest pioneers of the digital health space. 

In May the company announced a $20 million funding round led with a $10 million investment from Aptar Pharma. It's total funding at the time of acquisition was just shy of $70 million, according to Crunchbase.

In addition to its signature inhalers and inhaler sensors, the company has also been growing its public health initiatives. In 2017 it launched its asthma forecasting API for open use, which provides information about local air conditions

Propeller also has some major deals in its portfolio. One of the most notable took place in February of 2017, when the company inked a deal with Pharma giant Novartis to develop a custom add-on sensor for the company’s Breezhaler, which is used for Novartis’s portfolio of COPD treatments. 

On the record 

“ResMed shares our belief that connected health solutions create vastly better experiences and outcomes for people with chronic respiratory disease,” David Van Sickle, co-founder and CEO of Propeller, said in a statement. “Joining forces enables us to accelerate the adoption of Propeller’s solutions at a global scale, and serve as a powerful platform for a broad set of pharmaceutical and healthcare partners.”