The digital health sector is on fire in the first half of 2016. Through June 24 we’ve recorded 82 transactions with a business-to-business eHealth company as the target. Sixteen of those were announced in June alone. (We don’t cover consumer-facing health apps or social media platforms.) In the first half of 2015, just 60 deals were announced in this sector. The final tally was 123 eHealth deals for all of 2015, a new record. It’s no stretch of the imagination to think this sector could set another record for 2016.
The eHealth market of today includes electronic health records, revenue cycle management and data analytics, various mobile health start-ups from patient wearables to remote patient monitoring companies. More and more, the data analytics segment is targeting population health management to achieve better patient outcomes. A recent example is the June 14 acquisition of Care at Hand, a start-up company, by Mindoula Health Inc. Care at Hand has developed a predictive insights platform technology that uses smart surveys to identify early medical and psycho-social risk factors for hospitalization.
The 800-lb. gorilla in the healthcare data analytics space (at the moment) is IBM Watson Health (NYSE: IBM), which added Truven Health Analytics, a portfolio company of Veritas Capital, for $2.6 billion in February 2016. Truven provides cloud-based healthcare data, analytics and insights to more than 8,500 clients, including federal and state government agencies, employers, health plans, hospitals and life sciences companies.
The year’s largest digital health deal (so far) seemed to come from left field, but that’s where the balls are being hit these days. Global contract research organization Quintiles (NYSE: Q) paid $12.6 billion for IMS Health Holdings (NYSE: IMS), which has a massive amount of data on pharmaceuticals and patient compliance, as well as information and technology services. The combination will improve clinical trial design, recruitment and execution in the $100 billion biopharma product development market by combining IMS Health’s global information solutions with Quintiles’ industry leading product development skills. It’s all about scale, even in technology.