While most of the financials remain undisclosed, the quarter included a number of interesting deals involving Apple, Best Buy, UnitedHealth Group, and Allscripts.

12 digital health mergers and acquisitions from Q2 2019, plus 5 IPOs

By Jonah Comstock
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With 12 deals, the second quarter of 2019 was lighter on M&A than some, but the acquisitions that did happen were major — like UnitedHealth Group acquiring PatientsLikeMe, Allscripts snapping up ZappRx, and even a small quiet Apple acquisition (which came to light this quarter but likely occurred before then).

And mergers and acquisitions weren’t the only exits happening this quarter. Much more buzz has surrounded the return of the digital health IPO, with five companies filing or announcing their intention to do so.

Read on for a recap of M&A in 2019, and below that a roundup of IPOs. As usual, we’ll list acquisitions in descending order of deal size, then chronologically, though this quarter hardly any of the deals we covered had price tags disclosed.

Mergers and acquisitions

Dassault Systèmes acquires Medidata. Cloud-based clinical trial SaaS Medidata was acquired by French 3-D and product lifecycle management specialist Dassault Systèmes for a hefty $5.8 billion in June, our sister publication Healthcare IT News reported.

“It’s a logical evolution of the scope of what we do,” Bernard Charles, chairman and CEO of Dassault Systèmes, told CNBC. “Life science is going to go through an accelerated digitization of its own processes, basically. That’s the motivation for Dassault Systemes to buy Medidata Solutions.”


Best Buy acquires Critical Signal Technologies. Tech retailer Best Buy completed its second acquisition in the senior care space in April, buying remote senior monitoring service Critical Signal Technologies (CST) for $125 million. The amount wasn’t disclosed originally but was in Best Buy’s quarterly SEC filing.

CST’s services fall in line with the senior-focused communications and in-home monitoring tools of GreatCall, which Best Buy also purchased last year. In addition, the company already offers in-home tech support capabilities for customers who require help with their electronics, potentially giving Best Buy an easy way to ensure that remote care products are being set up appropriately.


CPSI acquires Get Real Health. Hospital software company CPSI spent $11 million (and could spend up to $14 more) on Get Real Health, a patient engagement company with offerings around chronic condition management, personal health records, and patient data aggregation and analysis. The deal, also reported by Healthcare IT News, reflects the growing prioritization of patient engagement in the health IT world.


Advantia Health acquires Pacify. April saw the first acquisition of the quarter when Advantia Health acquired Pacify, a live video chat platform for new and soon-to-be moms. The terms were undisclosed. As part of the deal Advantia Health, which provides in-person care with a companion care coordination platform, will now be able to offer its members video chats with physician extenders including lactation consultants and registered nurses. 


Harris Healthcare acquires Uniphy. Harris Computer Systems, through its healthcare group, acquired Uniphy Health, a startup focused on clinical communications and physician workflow software. The terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

The acquisition brings Harris a powerful new physician workflow tool which has already been successfully integrated with its EHR at at least one health system: Hunterdon Healthcare in New Jersey. For Uniphy, the acquisition brings an opportunity for rapid institutional scaling, including a much larger salesforce.


Warburg Pincus acquires, merges DocuTAP, Practice Velocity. Two players in the EHR space, DocuTAP and Practice Velocity, merged in May to form a new company called Experity, in a deal facilitated by private equity firm Warburg Pincus.

“DocuTAP and Practice Velocity’s current customers remain our number one priority,” Matt Blosl, CRO of Experity and formerly the CRO of DocuTAP, said in a statement at the time. “Both companies have always focused on providing amazing solutions and customer service — this will not change. In addition, the scale and resources of the combined company will empower us to speed up our pipeline of software production and significantly amplify our impact on the rapidly expanding urgent care industry.”


Stratus Video acquires InDemand Interpreting. Language services company Stratus Video acquired InDemand Interpreting, which specializes in the video-remote-interpreting (VRI) market and provides access to medically qualified or certified interpreters through video, audio and geolocation technology. The two companies hope to combine their technologies to serve the expanding language access needs of healthcare providers.


Apple acquires Tueo Health. During the quarter, news broke that Apple had stealthily acquired asthma monitoring company Tueo Health.

Founded in 2015, Tueo Health pitched a digital tool that helps parents monitor the symptoms, environment and treatment of their asthmatic children. According to an archived version of its webpage, the company’s approach involved an app paired with a sensor that can collect relevant data, alert users of sudden changes in condition and facilitate a consultation with a live “Tueo Health asthma educator.”

Apple has not commented on the acquisition.


Waystar acquires PARO. Revenue cycle management specialist Waystar announced its acquisition of healthcare financial assistance predictive analytics specialist PARO for an undisclosed sum. PARO uses data related to social determinants of health, rather than credit scores, to help organizations identify eligible candidates for financial assistance.


Allscripts acquires ZappRx.  ZappRx, a digital specialty prescription and prior authorization platform, was purchased by EHR vendor Allscripts. CNBC, which broke the news, said that the deal’s value did not exceed the total that investors poured into ZappRx, which Crunchbase pegs at $41 million.

“Allscripts is excited to add ZappRx’s platform to our growing portfolio,” a representative of Allscripts said in an email statement at the time. “The specialty-prescribing space is a key focus area for Veradigm, our payer and life sciences business unit. The addition of ZappRx’s team and technology will augment our solution offerings and provide great value to our clients.”


UnitedHealth Group acquires PatientsLikeMe. Late in the quarter, MobiHealthNews broke the news that PatientsLikeMe had been acquired by UnitedHealth Group after being forced into a fire sale when the US Committee of Foreign Investment forced Chinese majority investor iCarbonX to pull out of the business.

PatientsLikeMe leadership says business will continue as usual and patients’ data will be safe; the company will operate under UnitedHealth’s research division. But that hasn’t stopped patients from raising concerns about one of the largest online patient communities being owned by a health insurer.


Sansoro Health, Datica Health merge. Datica Health, which offers cloud compliance management services, and Sansoro Health, which provides integration and interoperability technologies, announced their merger at the end of the quarter. Under the name Datica, the companies will offer a self-service platform for secure cloud-based apps and digital health tools, while also enabling integration of patient data from multiple sources, the companies said. Healthcare IT News covered the story.

IPOs

  • In late April, health data management company Health Catalyst filed for an IPO, hoping to raise $150 million to $200 million according to the Wall Street Journal. The company has been discussing the possibility since at least 2015, when the CEO talked IPOs on stage at Health 2.0.
     
  • Connected exercise bike maker Peloton, responsible for some of the largest funding rounds in digital health of late, filed its S-1 draft statement in June. The company has not disclosed financial details yet.
     
  • Later that month, patient intake company Phreesia followed suit. Phreesia is a long-time player in the digital health space which has recently become profitable with a range of patient-facing hospital offerings including kiosks, dedicated tablets, and software offerings.
     
  • News of chronic condition management company Livongo’s IPO plans broke in March courtesy of the Wall Street Journal, but the company officially filed its S-1 at the end of the quarter. It’s still unclear how much the company is hoping to raise.
     
  • Finally, Change Healthcare’s IPO should probably be technically counted as Q1’s news, since the company filed at the end of March. But the healthcare data analytics company opened trading at the end of June, ultimately trading at $15 a share, just shy of its $16 to $19 goal.