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With Acquisition Welch Allyn Ventures Into Telemedicine

Welch Allyn makes its first foray into telemedicine by acquiring a health IT company that makes a software to perform vital signs monitoring remotely.

Welch Allyn is perhaps the most ubiquitous, recognizable name in a primary care setting.

If you are in the doctor's office for a routine physical exam or even a particular illness, chances are the doctor has come at you with the company's blood pressure monitors, stethoscopes, ear thermometer and other devices. In the hospital, you may have even encountered its vital signs monitoring system.

On Monday, the Skaneateles Falls, New York company announced that it has acquired the assets of Omaha, Nebraska-based HealthInterlink, a health IT company that has a FDA-cleared remote monitoring solution focused on vital signs monitoring.

The purchase marks Welch Allyn's first foray into telemedicine and underscores how even traditional medtech companies are realizing that there is real opportunity in playing across the continuum of care from clinics and hospitals into a patient's home in the post-Affordable Care Act environment. 

This acquisition will enable us to help clinicians prioritize patient care, allowing for early intervention and facilitating communication with patients outside traditional healthcare settings," said Stephen Meyer, president and CEO of Welch Allyn, in a news release. "Furthermore, we believe that this represents an exciting opportunity to advance the trend of investing in non-hospitalized and post-acute care monitoring to help take cost out of the system and help patients adhereto treatment plans in the doctor's office and beyond."

HealthInterlink's telehealth solution - called Beacon - works with wireless vital signs monitoring devices and mobile devices like a smartphone or a tablet "that transmits vital signs data, answers to patient care plan questions, and patient messages to a HIPAA-compliant cloud-based web portal for patient data management by healthcare professionals and other authorized stakeholders," according to the news release. Doctors can view the data even through the patient's electronic medical record. 

Welch Allyn aims to use the company's software solution to focus on helping primary care doctors and cardiologists manage patients with hypertension. 

The terms of the transaction - Welch Allyn bought the company from private investment fund Prairie Ventures - was not disclosed in the news release. A Welch Allyn representative declined to provide financial details citing the fact that Welch Allyn is a private company.

 

-- By Arundhati Parmar, Senior Editor, MD+DI
[email protected]

 

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