Merck's StayWell nabs mobile app maker MedHelp
- Merck subsidiary StayWell has acquired Silicon Valley-based MedHelp’s health engagement platform, with the aim of broadening its reach into mobile health.
- MedHelp’s portfolio incudes diabetes app Sugar Sense, fertility and pregnancy apps My Cycles and I’m Expecting, as well as calorie-tracking app My Diet Diary. All four are available through the Apple Store and Google Play.
- StayWell is a unit of Healthcare Services & Solutions, a wholly owned subsidiary of multinational drug giant Merck. The Yardley, Pa., firm offers employers custom solutions to several medical specialties, as well as services for hospitals and health systems.
The deal supports StayWell’s strategic expansion of mobile health solutions, adding 3 million MedHelp users and new products that support its existing diabetes and weight management tools, the company said.
It also strengthens Merck’s role in diabetes management.
The multinational pharmaceutical company has made a number of recent moves to improve patient engagement with respect to controlling their glucose and symptoms. A year ago, Merck and Aetna announced plans to deliver rebates for Type 2 diabetes medications Januvia and Janumet to patients covered by Aetna commercial plans who meet specified treatment goals.
The drugmaker also partnered with Amazon on a challenge to spur developers to create mobile apps using Alexa voice-enabled technology for newly diagnosed Type 2 diabetes patients.
With Sugar Sense, Merck will compete directly with Roche’s mySugr diabetes management platform. That app, available in 52 countries and 13 languages, combines coaching, therapy management, unlimited test strips and automated data tracking to help people manage their blood sugar.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.