Vocera Communications acquires Extension Healthcare for $55M

By Heather Mack
06:03 pm

San Jose-based Vocera Communications, which offers communications services for hospitals and health systems, has acquired fellow clinical communications company Extension Healthcare for $55 million in an all-cash transaction.

The acquisition combines the complementary technology of both companies, creating a mobile communication and collaboration platform within a single system from a single vendor. With Extension’s software, Vocera will be able to expand interoperability of its platform with more than 120 clinical systems including EHRs, monitoring devices, enterprise clinical systems and devices such as ventilators.

"This acquisition extends the power of Vocera's software platform for hospitals and health systems seeking one partner for all of their care team collaboration, workflow and communication needs," Vocera CEO and President Brent Lang said in a statement.

Additionally, Lang said, the acquisition will form a “complete solution” that better positions Vocera to win more large system-wide deals by expanding the company’s customer relationships and presenting more cross-selling opportunities for their software.

Vocera has long been a mainstay in clinical communications, collaborating with big names across the industry and acquiring several competitors. In 2009, it partnered with Motorola to create a hospital-specific smartphone, and soon after began integrating the device with AirStrip and Epocrates. In 2011, it acquired Toronto-based Wallace Wireless for its text-messaging capabilities, and in 2014 acquired mVisum for its medical alarm capabilities.

Extension Healthcare, which counts some 230 healthcare customers, is known for its clinical integration software Engage. The platform allows clinicians who are away from the bedside to stay informed about their patients by pulling together data from multiple sources simultaneously. It allows clinicians to prioritize notifications, adds patient context, and sends messages directly to the care team members on their mobile device. It also uses information from location tracking systems and helps reduce interruption and unnecessary alarms by detecting the presence of a nurse at the patient’s bedside.

Vocera and Extension Healthcare have collaborated several times already. They share more than 40 hospital customers across the US, including some within the Veterans Health Administration.  

"It's inspiring to be part of healthcare's next generation of technology that simplifies and improves care team collaboration,” Todd Plesko, CEO and cofounder of Extension Healthcare said in a statement. “With our visions aligned and software platforms combined, this new endeavor will make a positive and lasting impact on healthcare delivery."