Health IT

A clutch of clinical decision support deals from UPMC spinoff Via Oncology to GE Healthcare

Clinical decision support software was at the heart of at least three deals this month, most recently Via Oncology.

Clinical decision support companies have become a hot acquisition target for organizations wishing to expand their tech toolboxes and help hospitals reduce the cost of care by avoiding repeated tasks and unnecessary procedures. Elsevier’s acquisition of Via Oncology, a spinoff of University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Enterprises that develops clinical pathways with payers and providers, marks the medical publisher’s latest deal in this health IT subsector.

Although the terms of the deal were not disclosed, Via Oncology staff will continue to work for the business in Pittsburgh, according to the press release.

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Via Oncology works with more than 1,500 cancer care providers and has six different components. Via Pathways maps out evidence-based treatment options for gynecological oncology and hematology patients, spanning radiation therapy and surgical approaches to treatment. An insights tool provides reporting and analytics data to help clinicians make decisions based on outcomes and cost. A triage component helps users track and triage patient symptoms. The Oncology Medical Home produces patient-specific customizable treatment and survivorship plans, according to the company’s website.

Via Oncology’s Via Pathways tool was developed at UPMC Hillman Cancer Center in 2004 and commercialized in 2009, according to the press release. Kathy Lokay is the CEO of the business.

In 2015, Elsevier acquired InferMed, a London-based business that developed a program using evidence-based guidelines with patient information to assess best-practice options. Another component of InferMed is to support evidence-based guidelines with patient information and dynamically evaluates best-practice options in the light of current patient and disease information. It also has an electronic data capture component to support clinical research.

There have been other clinical decision support deals this month. Change Healthcare acquired Madison, Wisconsin-based National Decision Support Company this week. Its software is geared to helping physicians avoid ordering unnecessary procedures.

NDSC’s product CareSelect Imaging provides evidence-based guidelines through a digital distribution license with the American College of Radiology. It helps customers meet the federal mandate requiring that clinicians consult Appropriate Use Criteria (AUC) for imaging.

Earlier this month, GE Healthcare and Roche joined forces to collaborate on clinical decision support tools with invivo and invitro diagnostics. Using in-vivo data from GE Healthcare’s medical imaging equipment and in-vitro data from Roche’s genomics and sequencing portfolio combined with an analytical component to give providers a better understanding of patients to inform treatment decisions. The data could also be used to help clinicians predict potential complications. 

A Mercom Capital Group report noted that data analytics companies were the target of 21 M&A deals in 2017 — the largest category —  followed by practice management solution companies with 19 transactions. The value of the global clinical decision support market is expected to reach $10.82 billion by 2025, according to data from Report Buyer.

Photo: maxsattana, Getty Images