The 53 digital health mergers and acquisitions we covered in 2019

Alphabet, Amazon and Apple all made deals this year to buy digital health startups, and the year saw exits for Qualcomm Life, Fitbit and PatientsLikeMe.
By Jonah Comstock
11:28 am
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MobiHealthNews reported on 53 new acquisitions over the course of 2019. That doesn’t mean all of these deals closed this year: several of these deals were announced late in the year and won’t close until next year, while others may have closed in previous years but weren’t made public until 2019. And of course, definitions of digital health vary, and not every one of these deals will fit everyone’s definition.

Still, though, it was a big year for M&A in the space. The deals we tracked totalled $8.16 billion. They included moves from big tech companies Alphabet, Amazon and Apple, and healthcare giants Philips, Medtronic and UnitedHealthcare. The year also saw exits for some early digital health stalwarts like Mango Health, Qualcomm Life, Sherpaa, PatientsLikeMe and, of course, Fitbit. Five of the year’s acquisitions were done by private equity firms; the rest were strategic. Recurring themes included telemedicine, remote patient monitoring and medical education.

Read on for the year’s acquisitions, presented as usual in descending order of deal size for the 10 acquisitions with disclosed price tags, then in chronological order after that.


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 Systèmes to buy Medidata Solutions.”


Alphabet acquires Fitbit. In November, after months of rumors, Alphabet officially announced its $2.1 billion acquisition of long-time wearable activity tracker category leader Fitbit. Provided the deal clears the DOJ — which is not a sure thing — the acquisition will close in 2020.

This acquisition is set to unite the second biggest wearable maker and one of the biggest tech giants in the world, and brings a swath of benefits to both companies (many of which the MobiHealthNews staff covered at length in a podcast discussion of the rumors). 


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.


Elsevier acquires 3D4 Medical. Health analytics and education company Elsevier recently 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. After the acquisition, 3D4Medical’s digital tools will be rolled into Elsevier’s suite of educational content, which already includes several anatomy tools. 


BioTelemetry acquires Geneva Healthcare. Remote patient monitoring company BioTelemetry announced in January plans to acquire startup Geneva Healthcare, maker of a remote monitoring platform for implantable cardiac devices, for $45 million in upfront cash with additional performance-based earn-out considerations of no less than $20 million. 

Biotelemetry will gain access to Geneva’s cloud-based platform, which has the ability to aggregate data from device manufacturer systems. This gives physicians a platform to remotely keep track all of their patients that have implantable cardiac devices such as pacemakers, defibrillators and loop recorders, while also providing the doctors with the results of routine checks and monitoring. 


OptimizeRx acquires RMDY Health. OptimizeRx, a software company that enables digital health messaging between pharmas and providers, acquired RMDY Health, a SaaS platform designed for digital therapeutics. RMDY shareholders will receive $8 million in cash and another $8 million in equity upon the deal’s closure. OptimizeRx views the acquisition of RMDY’s team and technology as an opportunity to expand its messaging platform’s capabilities, as well as to reach a new client base beyond pharmas and providers. 


CPSI acquires Get Real Health. Hospital software company CPSI spent $11 million (and could spend up to $14 million 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.


AbleTo acquires Joyable. New York-based startup AbleTo acquired fellow virtual mental health startup Joyable for an undisclosed sum in the tens of millions.

As part of the deal, AbleTo users will gain access Joyable’s mental health coaching app. AbleTo connects it users with a nationwide network of behavioral health providers, who use the company’s structured treatment protocols to treat the user’s condition. Currently it has 600 therapists and coaches in its network. The companies said that by combining their products, AbleTowill be able to expand its services.


ClassPass acquires GuavaPass. Online fitness membership platform ClassPass acquired GuavaPass, a similar competing service active in Asia and the Middle East, for $4.2 million. Along with ClassPass assuming control of GuavaPass’s operations, GuavaPass CEO Jeffrey Liu, President Rob Pachter and a number of GuavaPass employees will be joining ClassPass. Both services allow users to pay a single subscription price for access to local classes for yoga, cycling, Pilates and other workouts using a mobile app.


Medici acquires Chiron Health. Medical messaging company Medici announced the acquisition of Chiron Health, an Austin-based telehealth company.

Medici is a medical communication tool that lets patients communicate with multiple providers. The system was designed so that a user could not only have his or her providers on the system but also their loved ones' physicians — for example their child’s pediatricians. This new acquisition will give Medici access to Chiron Health’s platform, which was designed to facilitate provider-patient video visits. Those visits can be uploaded to five compatible EHR systems. The HIPAA-compliant system caters to physician-run practices. The plan is to integrate Chiron’s capabilities, as well as its full team, into Medici’s current system. 


EBSCO Health acquires HealthDecisionClinical information tool EBSCO Health announced the acquisition of HealthDecision, a clinical decision support and shared decision making tool for clinicians and patients. As part of the deal EBSCO Health will get HealthDecision’s educational resources, which includes a visual representation of medical outcomes. The tools were designed to help facilitate provider-patient conversations around treatment plans. 


PerfectServe acquires CareWire and Lightning Bolt Solutions. PerfectServe, a Tennessee-based medical communication and collaboration platform, announced two acquisitions in the digital health space. The first is CareWire, which is a mobile patient communication platform. The second is Lightning Bolt Solutions, an artificial intelligence-run physician shift scheduling technology designed for hospitals and healthcare systems. PerfectServe said that the new acquisitions will help “the company’s strategy to unify the entire care team across the continuum, from inpatient, to outpatient, to patients at home.”


Francisco Partners acquires Qualcomm Life. Private equity firm Francisco Partners acquired Qualcomm Life, the Qualcomm subsidiary focused on medical device connectivity. The terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. Qualcomm Life will spin out as a new company under the name Capsule Technologies — the name of a clinical data management company that Qualcomm acquired in 2015. The new Capsule Technologies will continue to use the Capsule and 2net brands for its medical device connectivity offerings.

“FP’s acquisition will help Qualcomm Life (now CapsuleTech) continue to deliver market leading products and services to its world class customer base,” Rick Valencia, former president of Qualcomm Life, said in a statement.


Crossover Health acquires Sherpaa. Crossover Health, which provides medical services to large employers, Apple and Facebook among them, acquired Sherpaa, an asynchronous telehealth company that has also mostly focused on serving employer populations. The terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Sherpaa founder Dr. Jay Parkinson and his team will all become part of Crossover Health.

For Crossover Health, founded in 2010, the move to buy Sherpaa is an effort to address the changing nature of workforces, which are rarely anymore concentrated in one or even a handful of cities. With Sherpaa’s technology, Crossover Health will be able to offer a tiered system that provides in-person care to employees at a central site and comparable virtual care to remote employees. 


CareLinx acquires Optimal Aging. CareLinx, a digital health company focused on in-home care, acquired Optimal Aging, a fledgling startup still being incubated at Providence St. Joseph Health. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Optimal Aging is a program that coordinates non-clinical services like home care, transportation and meal support for accountable care organizations and Medicare Advantage Plans. The program actually incorporates CareLinx’s technology, and has since its Seattle-area launch in 2016.


Guidewell Connect acquires Onlife Health. Guidewell Connect, a consumer engagement company that shares a parent company (Guidewell) with health insurer Florida Blue, acquired Onlife Health, a health and wellness technology platform, from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee and Cambia Health Solutions. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Onlife offers member engagement services that include wellness and chronic condition management programs, via both its My Journey app and other non-digital modalities. Post-acquisition, Onlife will be available to health plan and employer clients in 19 states, according to a statement from the companies. Guidewell intends to keep Onlife’s management intact. It will become a subsidiary of Guidewell Connect.


WellSky acquires Health Care Software. Healthcare software and services company WellSky (previously known as Mediware) announced the acquisition of Health Care Software (HCS), which specializes in clinical and financial software for long-term care settings. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. Although HCS will keep its New Jersey office and continue operations, the company will gradually transition into the WellSky brand.

According to WellSky, the acquisition provides the company with new analytics and care management tools, which will allow it to pursue new market opportunities as well as increase its offerings for existing clients.


Medsphere Systems acquires Wellsoft. Interoperable health IT company Medsphere Systems Corporation announced that it is set to acquire Wellsoft, a company that specializes in ED information systems. As part of the deal Medsphere will be acquiring Wellsoft’s signature product, the Emergency Department Information Systems (EDIS), which is targeted at improving workflow in EDs and urgent care centers. 

Medsphere plans to create a comprehensive platform for urgent care centers that will employ the technology from Wellsoft as well as Medsphere’s RCM Cloud revenue cycle suite. 


PointClickCare acquires QuickMar. Senior-focused EHR and health software company PointClickCare Technologies acquired post-acute care management company QuickMar. 

As part of the deal, PointClickCare will control QuickMar’s signature product, the CareSuite Manager. The system includes an EHR and electronic medication administration record (eMAR) that is targeted at post-acute care centers. The system has the ability to manage assessments, care plans, resident billing, behavioral management and charting notes.


Zoll Medical acquires Payor Logic and Golden HourZoll Medical Corporation, the medical device and software company that makes the LifeVest wearable defibrillator acquired patient charting and revenue cycle management company Golden Hour.

The companies, which both offer charting and services related to the emergency medical services market, will now be able to combine their efforts. Zoll Medical has so far focused on working with larger operations, while Golden Hour has focused on smaller. This acquisition will give the former the opportunity to work with EMS agencies of all sizes. 

Earlier in the same quarter, Zoll also acquired Payor Logic, a patient receivable and insurance discovery company for providers. Both deals had undisclosed terms.


Teladoc acquires Médecin DirectTeladoc Health announced an acquisition to bolster its growing international line of business. The US virtual care company acquired Paris-based MédecinDirect, which provides confidential medical consultations via phone and internet. The terms of the acquisition were not disclosed, but Teladoc said “the acquisition will be immaterial to Teladoc Health’s financial results.”

MédecinDirect will become the French office of Teladoc, which now operates in the UK, Australia, Canada, Spain, Portugal, Hungary, China, Chile and Brazil in addition to the United States. What MédecinDirect offers Teladoc Health is a large existing client base that will give the company a comfortable foothold in a new country. Existing MédecinDirect customers will gain access to the full range of Teladoc services.


Advantia Health acquires Pacify. April saw the first acquisition of the second 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. Earlier this year, 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 second 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.


Net Health acquires Optima. In July, software developer Net Health purchased Optima Healthcare Solutions, which specializes in cloud-based EHRs. The deal will help expand Optima’s outpatient EHR software into more specialties. Net Health’s platforms, which include Agility, ReDoc and WoundExpert, currently serve five medical specialty markets and provide practice management tools, revenue cycle management, clinical workflow documentation, patient-reported outcomes and population analytics.


NTT Security acquires WhiteHat Security. The summer also saw NTT Security completing its purchase of application security developer WhiteHat security, first announced in March. NTT officials say the deal will bolster its ability to help healthcare and other clients address a wider range of security imperatives — from IT infrastructure to mission-critical applications. Now that the acquisition is complete, WhiteHat will continue to operate as an independent, wholly-owned subsidiary of NTT Security.


Philips acquires Medumo. Also in July, European tech giant Philips inked a deal to acquire Medumo, a startup focused on tracking and triaging patients. Medumo focuses on helping patients prepare for appointments. It uses texts, emails, phone calls and paper mailings to reach patients. For example, the company teamed up with Brigham and Women’s Hospital on a colonoscopy preparation service. 


Experian Health acquires MyHealthDirect. In August, Experian Health, maker of a healthcare revenue cycle management platform and other health IT enterprise tools, announced that it signed an agreement to acquire Nashville-based digital care coordination company MyHealthDirect. Both companies see the acquisition as a chance to more broadly deploy tools that can help patients initiate their own care and avoid frustrations that could harm their experience. MyHealthDirect CEO Tom Cox said his company is eager to continue its development of these technologies with the added benefit of Experian’s financial support. 


Warburg Pincus acquires majority stake in WebPT. Private equity firm Warburg Pincus signed an agreement in late August to buy a majority interest in the EHR developer WebPT, acquiring it from Battery Ventures. The investment will enable WebPT to boost its product offerings for outpatient physical therapists, occupational therapists and speech-language pathologists. The software-as-a-service vendor is deployed at some 15,000 clinics across the US.


Water Street Health Partners and JLL Partners acquire Thread. Two private equity firms, Water Street Health Partners and JLL Partners, acquired virtual clinical research company Thread for an undisclosed amount in the third quarter. The new owners say they plan on investing in Thread in order to further expand its customer base and offer the platform on a global scale. Thread’s platform is aimed at improving clinical trial research data and making registration and participation in trials easier.


TrialCard acquires Mango Health. TrialCard, a company that works with pharma manufacturers to link patients to medications and services, announced in September that it is set to acquire Mango Health, maker of a gamified patient engagement tool and medication adherence platform, for an undisclosed amount. As part of the deal, TrialCard will acquire Mango's app, which lets patients track their medication and adherence. It also has a component that gamifies medication adherence. Patients are able to earn points through proper health habits that are then redeemed for gift cards and charitable donations.


Heal acquires Doctors on Call. Heal, maker of an app for booking and processing device-driven physician house calls, announced the acquisition of New York City-based Doctors on Call, a roughly 50-year-old provider of house call services for elderly patients. The acquisition allows Heal to expand its services — previously limited to the Atlanta, California and Northern Virginia/Washington DC areas — into the New York market. Also of note, Doctors on Call founder Dr. Paul R. Rosenstock will take up the role of medical director at Health.


GoodRx acquires Hey Doctor. It’s not clear when this acquisition occurred, but it was announced in the third quarter in conjunction with the launch of GoodRx Care, powered by HeyDoctor, a virtual care platform. Up until now, GoodRx has been focused solely on medication cost and efficacy transparency.


Verita Healthcare Group acquires three digital health startups. Singapore-founded Verita Healthcare Group, an integrated provider of preventative, personalised healthcare announced in Q4 that it has strategically invested in three digital healthcare businesses, spanning Asia and Europe, as part of its international expansion and consolidation strategy. 

The three digital health businesses acquired by the company are nBuddy, a chronic disease management app; CelliHealth, a digital wellness app that enables users to capture and analyze data from offline health screenings; and Hanako, a mobile health check-up platform.


Amazon acquires Health Navigator. In October, Amazon quietly made another digital health acquisition, buying digital health startup Health Navigator for an undisclosed amount. Founded in 2014, La Grange, Illinois-based Health Navigator offers digital health clinical content in the form of APIs that can be used by EHRs, telemedicine providers, health chatbots and medical call centers. 

Amazon will reportedly wrap Health Navigator into its Amazon Care offering which launched for Amazon employees just last month. Amazon Care will include telemedicine, online chat with a nurse, medication delivery and app-enabled house calls to the employee's office or home.


American Well acquires Aligned Telehealth. Telehealth giant American Well recently struck a deal to acquire Aligned Telehealth, a vendor of telepsychiatry and behavioral health that serves providers and payers, for an undisclosed amount. For American Well, the acquisition seems to be all about increasing the breadth of its telehealth services and expanding its business to new customer bases. In addition to adding a new collection of behavioral health capabilities to its repertoire, American Well will also be picking up a clinical team that will help the company scale its offerings.


Biofourmis acquires Biovotion. Biofourmis, maker of an artificial intelligence-enabled monitoring and decision support platform, announced its plans to acquire Zürich, Switzerland-based wearable biosensor company Biovotion. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The acquisition will include Biovotion’s clinical grade-wearable technology Everion, as well as its entire portfolio and pipeline, team, clients, partners and patents. According to Biofourmis, the patents include both consumer and clinical wearables. The plan is to combine Biovotion’s wearables with Biofourmis’ analytics platform. 


Teladoc announces acquisition of Teledietician. This acquisition technically happened at the end of 2018. But it wasn’t until late this year that MobiHealthNews broke the news of Teladoc’s acquisition of TelaDietitian (formerly Nutrify), a consumer and enterprise platform for video consultations with registered dietitians. This month Teladoc launched an enterprise nutrition counseling service that will employ TelaDietitian’s assets alongside other nutrition support tools built into Teladoc's app-based platform.


InSight Telepsychiatry, Regroup Telehealth merge. Leading off a flurry of end-of-the-year acquisitions, Mt. Laurel, New Jersey-based InSight Telepsychiatry and Chicago-based Regroup Telehealth announced a merger of their businesses this month. The resulting entity is now the largest and most comprehensive telepsychiatry service provider in the US, they said, specifically in regard to the joined company’s combined revenue, national footprint, diversity of client types, and diversity and quantity of their provider base.


VirTrial set to acquire SnapMD.  Virtual care company VirTrial scooped up fellow telehealth startup SnapMD for an undisclosed sum. Virtrial, a portfolio company of Kinderhook Industries LLC, focuses on providing telemedicine services to the clinical trial industry. 

Meanwhile, SnapMD has been more focused on providing enterprise services to health systems. As part of the new acquisition, SnapMD will be a subsidiary of VirTrial, and its Virtual Care Management platform will be rolled into the latter’s clinical trial product. 


Medtronic acquires Klue. Dublin-based medical technology company Medtronic has acquired digital health startup Klue, a two-year-old startup which uses gesture sensing and other behavioral health metrics to determine when someone is eating. Nothing was disclosed about the terms of the deal, except that Medtronic considers it to be immaterial to 2020 earnings per share. Medtronic will use Klue’s technology to bolster its personal closed loop diabetes management system.


Gympass acquires Flaner. Last week's news comes with word that Gympass will be opening up a new "Tech Hub" in Lisbon, Portugal for former Flaner staff and new hires. This new location will work with another Tech Hub opened recently in New York to augment the fitness platform’s user experience through AI and machine learning. 

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