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5 must-read stories this week: Rite Aid acquires HealthSpot assets and digital health snake oil debate

Every week, we compile the most popular and interesting stories on MedCity News. Among the highlights this week were Rite Aid’s acquisition of HealthSpot’s assets and a counterargument to a comparison of digital health developers to snake oil salesmen.

HealthSpot-Art-588x392Every week, we compile the most popular and interesting stories on MedCity News. Among the highlights, Rite Aid moved more ambitiously into telemedicine with its acquisition of HealthSpot’s assets for a cool $1.5 million. Also, there was the reaction to a speech made by American Medical Association CEO Dr. James Madara at the association’s annual meeting comparing the companies behind the many forms of digital health and electronic health records to snake oil salesmen.

1. Rite Aid picks up bankrupt HealthSpot’s assets for just $1.15M

Pharmacy chain Rite Aid won with its initial $1.15 million bid after a local investment group declined to raise its “stalking horse” bid of $1 million from last week, according to Columbus Business First. A potential third bidder dropped out last week.

2. Microsoft to buy LinkedIn for $26.2B, healthcare wonders what the future holds

Microsoft shocked the tech world by announcing plans to acquire business networking site LinkedIn for an eye-popping $26.2 billion in cash. At $196 per share, that’s 50 percent higher than Friday’s closing stock price — though still a bargain compared to what the price would have been back in the winter.

3. No, there is not any ‘snake oil’ on the road ahead in digital health

As a country, we invested $35 billion to move existing transactions from paper to electronic form and 85 percent of our clinicians/hospitals achieved that. We also required patient access to educational materials, which have appeared in the form of a multitude of standalone apps. We did not suggest a fundamental redesign of healthcare workflow, we suggested a digitization of existing paper processes. We accomplished exactly what we set out to do.

4. Doctor-on-demand service Pager talks about shift to court health systems, payers

The deal gives Pager patients access to primary care doctors and specialists within the Weill Cornell Medicine system from board-certified physicians and nurses across specialties such as dermatology and pulmonary to gastrointestinal.

5. PE firm 1315 Capital raises $200M fund to invest in health tech, life sciences

“Massive consolidation the last 10 years in healthcare, has resulted in hundreds and hundreds of smaller products, in larger strategics, not getting significant commercial attention. Some of these products could provide significant benefits to a niche market of providers and patients. In addition, opportunities in cost containment are also attractive and an area of focus,” co-founder Adele Oliva said in an email.