17 digital health mergers and acquisitions from Q3 2018

This quarter's M&A action includes big names looking to move into digital health as well as more niche offerings absorbing their competitors.
By Jonah Comstock
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The third quarter of 2018 was a surprisingly good one for mergers and acquisitions. Babyforyou.net.ua tracked 17 deals, from Best Buy’s monster acquisition of GreatCall, to positive exits for Boston area startups Herald Health and Circulation, to WebMD’s snapping up consumer healthcare reviews site Vitals.

The majority of the deals seem to represent the kind of consolidation that happens as a space reaches maturity, with a number of startups in digital health niches of various sizes absorbing their competitors — or acquiring even smaller companies for acquihires or to add a certain feature into their product.

The Best Buy and Circulation deals (the latter acquired by a larger NEMT company) show that big outsiders are still using M&A as a way to enter the digital health space and step up their investment in innovation.

One other trend worth mentioning is that we’ve seen a number of re-acquisitions this quarter. Companies that were already acquired are being sold off by their new owners. Three deals fall into this category and another, Wellpass, is being acquired less than a year after forming via merger.

Read on for 17 acquisitions from Q3 2018, ranked in order by deal size, and then chronologically for the many undisclosed deal.

Best Buy acquires GreatCall (from GTCR) — San Diego-based GreatCall — an old guard digital health company which started out making smartphones for seniors in 2006 but now offers a suite of connected safety products and services for aging-in-place individuals — was acquired by retail chain Best Buy for $800 million in August. GreatCall was previously acquired in June 2017 by private equity firm GTCR for an undisclosed amount. GTCR in turn sold the company, which has nearly a million paying subscribers, to Minneapolis-based Best Buy. The tech retailer said that the acquisition is part of a larger strategy to invest in technology for the ever-widening over-65 market through 2020. More.

Logisticare acquires Circulation — App-enabled healthcare transportation company Circulation entered into an agreement last month to be acquired by Logisticare, the nation’s largest non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) broker, for $44 million, $1 million to be paid in three years to each of the cofounders. The price tag on this one is a little bit complicated: the total sale price was $57.5 million, but since Logisticare's parent company Providence has a minority stake in Circulation, $11.5 million is going back to the buyer. Logisticare intends to keep Circulation's entire management team intact, and to deploy Circulation’s technology across its nationwide operations. More.

Persistent Systems acquires Herald Health — Pune, India-based Persistent Systems acquired Herald Health, a two-person health tech startup with successful pilots at Brigham and Women's and Boston Children’s hospitals in Boston. The companies did not disclose terms, but the total price was $5.2 million, according to multiple Indian publications. Herald Health makes a software platform that allows various hospital stakeholders to be automatically notified when data in the EHR and other data systems changes. The company was founded in 2015 and has not raised funding or hired full-time employees beyond the two cofounders. More.

SensorRX acquires Welltodo — Late in Q2 SensorRx announced its intention to acquire Welltodo, maker of the app Migraine Coach, for an undisclosed sum. Migraine Coach uses algorithms to help people track their migraines, and also includes a predictive feature. Charlotte, North Carolina-based SensorRX has its own migraine app called MigrnX, which was launched last year after being tested in the Carolinas Healthcare system. The app helps track a user’s migraine and various symptoms including intensity level, medication usage and effectiveness, and frequency. It also lets users record other health factors like menstrual cycles. The app then offers the user headache patterns and triggers. Migraine Coach’s features will be incorporated into MigrnX. More.

DoctoLib acquires MonDocteur — In July, Doctolib announced that it acquired fellow online medical appointment booking and management company MonDocteur. Both are French startups, offer customers a way to book medical appointments online and were founded in the same year, 2013. The two companies both had a foothold in the French and German marketplace. Combined, the companies include 55,000 available doctors and boast 20 million patient visits per month to their website and mobile app. The acquisition is expected to help the company continue to grow and expand in Germany and France, and to create new services for doctors and patients. The goal is to take a full “leadership position in Europe,” according to the company. More.

CeQur acquires Calibra (from Johnson & Johnson) — As Johnson & Johnson continues to move out of the diabetes business, the company announced in July that it has sold its Calibra product (marketed as OneTouch Via, but never launched) to CeQur, a 10-year-old company working on a similar insulin-delivery wearable. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but CeQur has acquired an exclusive worldwide license for the technology. CeQur is close to deployment on its main product PAQ, a three-day wearable insulin pump that supplies both basal and bolus insulin to people with Type 2 diabetes. The device from Calibra Medical, which Johnson & Johnson acquired in 2012, is a similar product but different in two key ways: it delivers only mealtime bolus insulin and it’s already FDA-cleared, allowing CeQur to go to market with it much sooner. More.

WebMD acquires Vitals Consumer Division (from Mdx Medical) — WebMD, an Internet Brands company, announced that it was picking up the Vitals Consumer Services Division from Mdx Medical. The division, which is focused on giving consumers online tools to connect to clinicians, is made up of vitals.com and UCompareHealthCare.com. The acquisition will also include the MedHelp tool, which provides a platform for patients to connect to their peers. Mdx, which acquired the division in 2011 from the New York Times Co., will retain its Vitals Enterprise business. More.

SmartER acquires ConciergeStat — In August, patient engagement company SmartER announced that it would be acquiring care coordination company ConciergeStat. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. As part of the deal SmartER will get ConciergeStat’s software and customer s, and will oversee all of its employees. Out of this acquisition, SmartER plans to offer a new system called SmartConcierge along with its patient communication platform SmartContact and its ER-visit-reduction platform SmartControl. More.

WellBrain acquires Medevoked — WellBrain, a Bay Area meditation-focused addiction prevention and chronic pain management platform, acquired Mevoked, a behavioral analytics platform that offered a digital program for management of perinatal and postpartum mental health conditions. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. The deal will allow WellBrain to move into the maternal health space and also to introduce some new features onto the company’s existing platform. More.

FitLab acquires Freelytics — While it wasn’t reported as an acquisition, European fitness app company Freelytics’ funding round in August also included an announcement that venture studio FitLab has bought a controlling majority of shares from cofounders Joshua Cornelius, Mehmet Yilmaz and Andrej Matijczak, essentially acquiring the company. The three have been away from the day-to-day management of the company for some time, and will exit entirely with this deal. More.

SOC Telemed acquires JSA Health — SOC Telemed (formerly Specialists on Call) announced in late August that it has acquired behavioral health telemedicine company JSA Health, and will be adding JSA Health’s services to its acute telemedicine platform. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. SOC Telemed acquired virtual neurology company NeuroCall in 2017, and currently claims to be the largest provider of telehealth neurology services in the US. Now, with the acquisition of JSA Health’s behavioral team and SOC Telemed’s newly gained avenue into more than 450 hospitals and health systems, the company is making a similar claim for telepsychiatry. More.

Mediware acquires Rock Pond Solutions — Healthcare-focused intelligence and analytics software company Mediware announced that it is acquiring Rock-Pond Solutions, an analytics software company dedicated to the home infusion, home medical equipment, and specialty pharmacy industries. The terms of the acquisition were undisclosed. The acquisition will give Mediware access to Rock-Pond’s data tools CareTend BI and CareTend BI for CPR+, which aim to help provider improve efficiencies and profitability. More.

Harris Healthcare acquires Iatric Systems — Harris Healthcare acquired Iatric Systems for an undisclosed sum. Boxford, Massachusetts-based Iatric, which specializes in integration tools to help hospitals optimize their electronic health records and other IT infrastructure, will operate as an independent business unit of Harris, officials said. Iatric has developed an array of technology for medical device connectivity, security, interoperability and other areas of EHR optimization. More.

Headspace acquires Alpine.AI — Mindfulness meditation app maker Headspace acquired voice-enabled AI system Alpine.AI, furthering the former's development in personalization and conversational products. The deal, which was made for an undisclosed sum, means that Alpine's team will move over to Headspace’s San Francisco office. Currently Alpine.AI’s technology has been integrated into Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. Eventually the Headspace team would like to give users the experience to communicate with their mediation services through voice technology. More.

Medopad acquires Sherbit — Medopad, an app-based patient data collection and analysis platform headquartered in the UK, acquired Silicon Valley health AI startup Sherbit in an effort to expand its reach into the US, according to an announcement released this morning. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. Sherbit’s health analytics platform consists of more than 30 apps and devices that engage chronic disease patients, and subsequently provide their care teams with insights through algorithm-based analysis and customized dashboards. And importantly for Medopad, Sherbit’s business has made key partnerships with a number of US-based organizations. More.

Welltok acquires Wellpass — Consumer health software maker Welltok made another acquisition this quarter, this one a long-time player in the digital and mobile health spaces: Wellpass, the company formed in 2017 from a merger of Sense Health and Voxiva. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. The Wellpass acquisition will expand Welltok's presence in the managed Medicaid and government markets, as well as build out Welltok's technology suite. More.

Muse acquires Meditation Studio — The last acquisition of the quarter, coming in at the end of September, was a second acquisition in the meditation app space. Muse, maker of an EEG headband and accompanying meditation mobile app, announced that it is acquiring Meditation Studio, a developer known for its meditation app which provides guidance from 40 experts. The terms of the deal were undisclosed. More.