Health IT

Hill-Rom to acquire healthcare communications company Voalte for up to $195M

The acquisition price was $180 million in upfront cash with a potential $15 million additional payment, dependent on meeting certain commercial milestones.

Chicago, Illinois-based medtech company Hill-Rom Holdings is acquiring Sarasota, Florida-based healthcare communications company Voalte as it looks to broaden its connected tech offerings for providers.

The acquisition price was $180 million in upfront cash with a potential $15 million additional payment, dependent on meeting certain commercial milestones. Hill-Rom’s existing product lines include smart hospital beds, vital sign monitors and its own LINQ mobile communication application.

The move comes as hospital execs are identifying improved clinical communication a pathway to better patient safety, care coordination and healthcare outcomes. One 2018 Black Book Market Research study pegged the proportion of hospitals investing or planning to invest in comprehensive clinical communication platforms at 96 percent.

Other companies trying to create secure communication platforms for hospitals include TigerConnect and Imprivata, as well as consumer workplace tools like Slack, which recently added HIPAA-compliant features to potentially enter the healthcare market.

“Interoperability and connectivity have become critical elements in providing quality healthcare, reducing length of stay and driving efficiencies across the healthcare continuum,” Hill-Rom CEO John Groetelaars said in a statement.

“This transaction strategically fits with our vision of advancing connected care to improve workflow and real-time actionable insights at the point of care, while driving accelerated growth and delivering an attractive margin profile.”

The Voalte deal follows Hill-Rom’s acquisitions of medical device company Mortara, diagnostics maker Welch Allyn and surgical technology vendor Trumpf Medical in recent years.

Voalte was founded in 2008 and offers a secure communication platform built for the healthcare environment which includes voice calls, alarm notifications and text alerts which can be accessed from mobile devices or other clinical systems.

The company has signed up more than 200 healthcare customers and has 84,000 mobile devices linked to its platform, enabling around 220,000 clinicians to connect to Voalte’s secure communication system.

“Our scalable enterprise communication platform is proving to be a critical tool in the digital transformation of healthcare systems, and we look forward to further developing our platform in alignment with Hill-Rom’s vision of advancing connected care,” Voalte CEO Trey Lauderdale said in a statement.

“Bringing our companies together will allow us to offer customers a single, integrated solution – delivering actionable data from smart hospital beds, nurse call and patient monitoring technology right to a caregiver’s mobile device.”

The deal is expected to close by the third quarter of 2019, subject to regulatory review.

Photo: designer491, Getty Images