Vocera Communications, the maker of hands-free communication devices for hospitals, announced yesterday that it has purchased patient-messaging technology company EASE Applications.
While the two companies did not share the terms of the deal, the announcement did note that "approximately eleven" EASE employees would be issued restricted stock units equal to roughly 60,000 shares of Vocera common stock, which will vest over three years following the closure of the deal.
WHAT'S THE IMPACT?
While Vocera's wireless, wearable "badges" are designed to support communications between practitioners and hospital teams, the EASE app enables providers to speak with patients or their families.
The HIPAA-compliant platform delivers text, photo and two-way video messages. No messages are saved on the mobile devices themselves, and all media disappears 60 seconds after viewing. Patients are also easily able to update the list of people permitted to receive and view these updates.
Bringing this tool into the fold allows Vocera to offer a broader range of communications tools to its provider customers – especially in light of the patient satisfaction benefits the company touts on its website.
“Improving the lives of patients, families and care teams is the mission of Vocera, which is why EASE is a perfect addition to the company,” Brent Lang, chairman and CEO of Vocera, said in a statement. “The acquisition of EASE strengthens the Vocera platform by enhancing care team communication with patients and families. We are excited to add this innovative, patient-facing solution to our portfolio.”
THE LARGER TREND
Healthcare communications platforms come in plenty of forms. While sometimes these efforts are centered on purpose-built devices such as Vocera's, software platforms such as Spok, Careteam or Microsoft are designed to work across smart devices via an app. At the same time, a growing number of startups like Luma Health, Medici and NexHealth are making a name for themselves through smart patient-messaging.
ON THE RECORD
"Now, more than ever, meaningful human connections are needed in healthcare,” Patrick de la Roza, CEO of EASE, said in a statement. “When a person undergoes surgery or is hospitalized for an infection or other illness, the patient and their loved ones often feel fear, anxiety and isolation. EASE helps reduce these burdens by providing needed connectivity and transparency, while allowing care teams to deliver the best care.”