The Longevity

StayWell and Vitals Each Acquire Patient Engagement Tools by Splitting MedHelp Down the Middle

October 18, 2017 | Care Guidance, Social Engagement

As the drive toward consumer-based healthcare continues, both StayWell and Vitals have made moves to expand their patient engagement tools this month, with a complicated split and acquire MedHelp deal.

MedHelp is…being split in half with StayWell… acquiring its mobile platform and Vitals acquiring its network of patient communities.

StayWell, which is majority-owned by Merck subsidiary Healthcare Services & Solutions,  acquired MedHelp’s mobile platform. The mobile division includes apps for diabetes, including Sugar Sense, women’s health apps such as “I’m Expecting”, and weight management along with machine learning tech to improve engagement for these app users.

Vitals snapped up MedHelp’s peer channel Patient-to-Patient Communities, according to a news release. The website boasts traffic from more than 15 million visitors each month and covers 300 medical conditions, including diabetes, pregnancy and mental health. It will make up part of the newly formed Vitals Consumer Services, which combines Vitals consumer websites and the newly merged MedHelp online community business.

StayWell CEO Nicole Latimer shared her views on the “steady drumbeat of consolidation in digital health” with MedCityNews, as well as her reflections on how the acquisition fits into StayWell’s future plans.

Based on what I have seen, [said Latimer], the majority of acquisitions in the health and wellness space (For example: Tea Leaves by Welltok, mySugr by Roche, Carena by Avizia, etc.) either:

  • Acquire more data about consumers and patients; or
  • Provide flexibility in serving consumers and patients.

StayWell’s acquisition of the MedHelp platform does both.

In short, the movement toward patient-centric, value-based care has created a massive incentive for companies to learn more about their patients on an individual level in order to adapt personalized treatment plans.

Take a look at StayWell’s acquisition of MedHelp. The mobile apps provide patient-reported data, such as their responses to barriers to care adherence and clinical results from integrated fitness trackers and measurement devices like glucometers and scales. With access to more granular, patient-specific data, StayWell is able to deliver more personalized, more tailored content to help….

The company’s innovative programs, like self-directed coaching and interactive chronic condition management journey, can be delivered via a patient’s smartphone, the mechanism the consumer uses to view non-healthcare related content.

The platform also provides StayWell with the opportunity to leverage additional technologies, like chatbots, to increase interactivity and patient engagement.

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