Startups, Health IT

UK startup Medopad acquires Sherbit as part of US expansion

Medopad looks to make further inroads into the U.S. market through other acquisitions and customer growth.

Fast growing U.K. digital health startup Medopad has acquired San Francisco-based Sherbit as it looks to expand its presence in the United States.

Sherbit’s San Francisco location will become the merged company’s main U.S. office and Sherbit co-founder and CEO Alex Senemar will head up Medopad’s U.S. operations. Financial details on the acquisition were not disclosed.

Sherbit, which launched in 2016 out of a Harvard Medical School accelerator program, aggregates data from sensors, devices and social media to give users a contextualized look at their health and activity levels.

For it’s part, Medopad, which was founded in London in 2011, develops technology that helps users track chronic conditions. Using AI and machine learning techniques, Medopad claims to be able to monitor patients through mobile health features like remote monitoring, medication adherence reminders, symptom tracking, telemedicine and measurements of diagnostic results like blood glucose levels.

From that initial focus, the company has branched out into the pharma and payer markets by pitching its technology as a way to gather real-world data, increase the effectiveness of clinical trials and create insurance reward programs for positive behavior.

Medopad has raised $28 million in a Series A financing round led by Hong Kong-based NWS Holdings. Initial seed investment in the company came from investors including pharma giant Bayer AG.

Some of the company’s major health system customers include HCA Healthcare and London-based Bupa, along with U.K. hospitals like Royal Free London, Guy’s and St Thomas’. The company has also signed on pharma partners like Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, as well as medical device maker Boston Scientific, according to a press release.

The use of smart devices in the management of chronic conditions is not a new idea and Medopad’s numerous competitors in the space include Mango Health, HealthTap, and even Sherbit itself. Where the company is trying to differentiate itself is through its global strategy. 

Medopad has already expanded across markets in Europe and Asia, inking $140 million in deals in China including a partnership with major Chinese internet company Tencent, according to a press release. 

The company’s positive momentum and scale was one of the factors that led to the acquisition, said Sherbit’s Senemar.

“If you want to have an impact on digital health, you have to have enough of a data pool to build predictive models to understand how to improve care,” Senemar said in a phone interview. “You need the power as a company to grow really quickly and (Medopad) has the larger footprint necessary to achieving that vision.”

While it initially started out as a consumer app, Sherbit eventually pivoted to a business-to-business model focused on selling to hospitals and health systems. The company’s customers include the Mayo Clinic, Jefferson Health and Tufts Medical School. 

Senemar said that he thinks the data-driven mobile health industry will have to consolidate in order to make a real impact on the healthcare market.

For Medopad, the Sherbit purchase looks to be a major initial step in a stronger push into the U.S. market through both acquisitions and customer growth.

“We are expanding rapidly across the world and acquiring Sherbit is just the first step for us in the US,” Medopad CEO and Founder Dan Vahdat said in a statement.

Photo: Getty Images, maxsattana