Health IT

Wildflower Health scoops up Providence St. Joseph Health spinout Circle

In addition to the acquisition, Providence Ventures, PSJH’s venture capital fund, said it will take part in Wildflower’s Series C financing round.

Wildflower Health, a startup focused on helping families manage their health needs, has acquired Circle, a mobile health technology business incubated by Providence St. Joseph Health.

Financial details were not disclosed.

Circle‘s focus is primarily on assisting expectant mothers. Aaron Martin, chief digital/innovation officer at PSJH and managing general partner of Providence Health Ventures, explained why the health system created the startup.

“About three years ago, we saw this gap around expectant mothers not being able to get curated content that is endorsed or approved by their clinicians,” he said in a recent phone interview.

Thus, Circle was born. Patients can use its app not only to gain information, but also to get after-hours support and utilize tools. The mobile platform is integrated into the EMR system.

Similarly, Wildflower’s mobile app was originally geared toward pregnant mothers and helping them on their journey. However, it has since expanded so families can use the app to oversee the health of moms, dads, children and aging parents. Through Wildflower, they can utilize reminders for immunizations and appointments, decision support tools and care plans.

Wildflower’s broader scope is beneficial for Circle, Martin explained.

“What’s exciting about this is Wildflower has made a lot of progress in the Medicaid and broader women’s health [field], and that’s the direction we’re taking Circle,” he said. The deal enables the PSJH business to “skip a few steps” as it works toward getting into more women’s health issues.

As for Wildflower, the acquisition allows it to expand its national footprint and boost its product development work.

“We are quickly creating an ecosystem that allows for individual users to access benefits and resources from their health plan, provider, employer and local community all within one app,” Leah Sparks, founder and CEO of Wildflower, said in a news release.

Through the agreement, the Renton, Washington-based health system has signed an enterprise-wide commercial deal with Wildflower.

Additionally, Providence Ventures, the system’s venture capital fund, will take part in Wildflower’s Series C financing round led by Health Enterprise Partners. Echo Health and Hatteras Venture Partners participated as well.

Wildflower Health also raised $5 million in 2015.

In a phone interview earlier this year, Sparks said that going forward, her San Francisco startup wants to search for more ways to reach patients directly and cultivate long-term relationships with consumers. She added that it plans to add tools for additional episodes of care in the year ahead.

Photo: designer491, Getty Images