There has been a great deal of merger and acquisition activity within the healthcare industry this year. These deals include mergers between hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, biomedical firms, and an array of other healthcare-oriented technology companies.
In light of the alarming increase in health care costs, companies are seeking to deliver products and services that benefit both healthcare providers and patients, as well as the many other companies that provide healthcare-related goods and services, such as medicine, medical devices, and the electronic applications needed to manage healthcare data. The latter category, which includes things like electronic health records and telemedicine solutions, are proving critical to the delivery of better quality, more affordable healthcare services. Here are four of the biggest digital health mergers to occur so far this year.
Amazon and PillPack
Amazon already sells and delivers just about anything that anyone could ever want or need, so it makes sense that the company wants to include prescription medication within its purview. In an effort to make this a reality, Amazon reportedly spent close to one billion dollars to acquire PillPack, a virtual pharmacy that makes it faster and cheaper for individuals to obtain prescription medications. Amazon’s size and resources combined with PillPack’s pharmaceutical expertise will no doubt make it easier than ever to request and receive time-sensitive medication.
Teladoc and Advance Medical
Teladoc is a U.S. based company that helps healthcare providers connect with individuals in remote locations via telephone and video conferencing, and Advance Medical is essentially the global equivalent. Thus, Teladoc’s purchase of Advance Medical for roughly $350 million has created a global telehealth powerhouse that will help providers reach even more patients around the world. This will make healthcare services more convenient and less costly, particularly for the elderly and homebound patients.
Allscripts and HealthGrid
Allscripts, an electronic health record system, and Health Grid, a mobile platform that provides healthcare educational materials, have combined forces to simplify electronic communication with patients. There is no longer the need or desire for paper copies of medical charts or discharge summaries, so providing an online platform for patients to access their lab and test results and other pertinent medical information is critical.
Fitbit and Twine Health
Wearable tracking devices are all the rage, and people are eager to capture, analyze, and share data like never before. Thus, it is no surprise that Fitbit has teamed up with Twine Health to incorporate the tracking of data with online health plans and coaching. The ultimate goal will be to utilize this to achieve better health outcomes and to tie it to employer-sponsored health insurance plans.