Babylon closed its acquisition of Higi, a startup that allows people to check their blood pressure, weight, body mass index and other health markers at kiosks located in supermarkets, pharmacies and other retailers, according to a news release Wednesday.
Babylon already owned about a quarter of the company after leading a $30 million funding round for Higi in 2020. But the digital health giant decided to buy out the rest of the company last month, acquiring the remaining equity for $4.9 million in cash and nearly four million in Babylon Class A ordinary shares and two million in restricted stock units, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The company hopes the combination will make its symptom-checking chatbot and other services more appealing to buyers.
“Combining Babylon’s highly-scalable technology platform with Higi’s remote monitoring capabilities -- via its Smart Health Stations conveniently located within 5 miles of 73% of the U.S. population, at-home connected devices, and 50-state clinical network -- will help Babylon in its mission of reengineering every touchpoint in the healthcare continuum. The combined company will provide a more holistic, end-to-end solution to meet the needs of payers, providers and retailers on the front lines of care delivery,” the news release said.
Providers, employers, health plans and retailers are increasingly looking to work with vendors that offer complete solutions rather than solving one or two specific problems, as it’s often easier to get buy-in from top executives and put them into practice. Experts predict more consolidation among digital health companies over the next few years.
In recent years, investors have flocked to remote patient monitoring on the promise that it will help lower healthcare costs, boost quality, and improve patient experience by helping providers and purchasers keep a closer eye on peoples' health, all of which could increase provider reimbursement or improve payers’ margins.
Remote patient monitoring companies raised $126 million during the third quarter of the year, according to data from Digital Health Business & Technology. But that number could skyrocket as more and more digital health companies integrate remote patient monitoring into their products and services.