November 2019 M&A activity highlighted notable momentum across the theme of patient engagement.
At its most basic level, patient engagement refers to better informing consumers within the healthcare market about all relevant aspects pertaining to their care, including areas such as health plan benefits, treatment requirements, appointment information, medication instructions, and how to improve overall wellness. When patients are not appropriately informed / engaged, unnecessary costs are created for payers and providers alike, and the overall quality of health outcomes for patients diminishes.
Remote patient monitoring (RPM), a subset of patient engagement, utilizes digital technologies to collect various forms of medical / health data and transfer them to a provider, reducing healthcare costs through less hospitalizations and early intervention. Growth opportunities within RPM are well-defined: the global RPM market is expected to reach a value of over $31 billion by the end of 2023, growing at a CAGR of over 12% during the projection period.
Of the RPM-related transactions that occurred last month, Google’s
agreement to acquire fitness tracking company Fitbit
for $2.1 billion was particularly notable. The transaction represented the latest attempt by one of the tech giants to further penetrate the healthcare technology space, which according to Statista, could be worth $24 billion by 2020. Despite the fact that Google hasn’t been publicly pushing its health-focused subsidiary, Verily, which operates primarily in the cardiovascular health and diabetes spaces, it looks to make meaningful strides into the sector with Fitbit’s platform through the partnerships with health insurance companies and direct corporate wellness programming that the new subsidiary provides. The addition of Fitbit helps solidify Google’s spot on the healthcare technology map alongside its rivals – particularly Apple, whose Apple Watches own approximately 50 percent of the current market share of wearables and have been gaining immense momentum with the recent implementation of an ECG functionality in its newest models.
Several other transactions in the month of November aligned with the theme of patient engagement:
- NextGen Healthcare, a provider of ambulatory-focused technology solutions, agreed to acquire patient experience platform Medfusion for $43 million. Medfusion’s comprehensive “Patient Experience” solutions include a flexible patient self-scheduling solution, an EMR-agnostic portal that drives patient engagement, and a portfolio of healthcare APIs.
- Brighton Park Capital, a Greenwich, CT-based private equity firm that specializes in software, information services, tech-enabled services, and healthcare, completed the majority recapitalization of Relatient, a patient engagement software company. The Franklin, TN-based company will use the funds to support further growth, including hiring more employees and expanding its customer service capabilities. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
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