Health education company Elsevier acquires medical education startup 3D4Medical

Following the acquisition 3D4Medical’s digital tools will be rolled into Elsevier’s suite of educational content.
By Laura Lovett
11:14 am

This morning health analytics and education company Elsevier announced its plans to acquire Dublin-based 3D4Medical, a startup specializing in digital medical education tools. While the terms of the deal were not disclosed, Irish investor Malin, which owns 38% of the startup, said it would be collecting €17 million from the deal--indicating that Elsevier paid around €44.73 ($49.2 million USD).

3D4Medical makes digital tools that let students and medical professionals study 3D anatomical models. The tools include gross anatomy and microscopic models. Students using the tool also have access to system models, including models for the muscular, lymphatic, and nervous systems. 

The product also includes videos, quizzes, a library of resources and the ability to share screens with groups. The Irish company has also developed 3D tools that professional health systems can purchase for their workforce. 

After the acquisition, 3D4Medical’s digital tools will be rolled into Elsevier’s suite of educational content, which already includes several anatomy tools. 

“We see 3D4Medical as a perfect extension of our ClincalKey and ClinicalKey for Students platforms,” Jan Herzhoff, managing director, health education at Elsevier said in a statement. “We are pleased to welcome 3D4Medical to Elsevier and look forward to serving those global audiences dedicated to advancing the understanding of anatomy.”


This deal marks yet another M&A for 2019. As of the end of Q3 MobiHealthNews reported on 39 such deals. Traditionally M&A has been the most popular exit for digital health companies, and this year is no different. 

However, in July Rock Health released its midyear report that noted M&As where down from last year. At the time the venture fund predicted that if this trend continued the year would be on track to have 25% fewer acquisitions than last year. 


This acquisition comes four years after 3D4Medical raised $16.4 million from Irish life science company Malin. The company made it into the spotlight in 2012 when Tim Cook, Apple CEO,  highlighted 3D4Medical in a video at World Wide Developers Conference, which demonstrated apps that made a social impact. 

This is hardly the only company employing digital tools for medical education. Virtual reality has become a popular avenue to present medical content. For example, Osso VR and FundamentalVR, use VR to create surgical simulators which are interactive. In April Giblib scored $2.5 million for its medical education streaming service. 


“When we started 3D4Medical, we wanted to disrupt the way anatomy was taught and learned,” John Moore, founder of 3D4Medical, said in a statement. “Our advanced and proprietary technology and content are available on the devices used by a new generation of students. Together with Elsevier, a global leader in medical content, we look forward to this new and exciting chapter.”