Philips Aims to Enhance Patient-Doctor Communication With New Health Care Acquisition

Global technology giant Philips bought Medumo, a startup that helps hospitals and patients communicate.

Global technology giant Philips bought Medumo, a startup that helps hospitals and patients communicate. BSIP/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Philips’ latest buy is a health-tech startup.

The global corporation has reportedly acquired Boston-based Medumo, a digital platform that helps hospitals communicate with their patients. According to Medumo, its software “helps health care organizations deliver the right instructions to the right patients at the right time using automated SMS and email.”

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The platform helps hospice administrators keep track of patients’ data, as well as perform triage to determine what type of care they need.

Since its founding in 2013, Medumo has built out its medical social platform in partnership with Boston’s health care community. One of its most prominent partners is Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard’s Brigham Health. The startup has raised $2.1 million in funding to date, including a seed round from startup backer Y Combinator.

Since its launch, Medumo has expanded to include guidance and notifications to help patients through routine exams, as well as procedures.

“When the patients forget to do critical tasks before a procedure or surgery, they have to be canceled last-minute, which costs a hospital lots of money or they have to get rescheduled or delay the process,” co-founder and CEO Adeel Yang told Tech Crunch last year.

“The worst situation is when a patient is poorly prepared but still goes through the surgery or procedure and as a result they have poor outcomes,” he continued. “Based on that experience, we knew we wanted to do something to improve the way the instructions were delivered to patients. Tech was one way, but another way is to really understand how patients were receiving information based on their different characteristics.”

This form of patient technology use throughout their treatment is more or less the future the tech industry is pushing for.

Philips—known for manufacturing electronics such as Hue, its popular line of smart lighting—has in recent years shifted focus from general home appliances to lighting and health. As CNBC reported, Philips has been expanding its health technology division through acquisitions. Most recently, the company bought the health care information systems (HCIS) business unit of Carestream.

The rapid growth of Philips’ medical hardware and software offerings comes at a time when tech companies are racing to get in on the health and wellness trend. For example, Apple has been on a year-long mission to push its health tracking software with the help of its popular smartwatch, the Apple Watch. Meanwhile, Amazon is pushing for its voice assistant Alexa to become a health resource with the addition of medical skills.

While Philips isn’t necessarily looking to appeal to health conscious consumers, its large infrastructure can help it bring technology, such as Medumo, to the mainstream with the help of its medical industry customers.

Philips Aims to Enhance Patient-Doctor Communication With New Health Care Acquisition