Healthcare Technology Featured Article

November 01, 2013

WebMD Buys a Start-Up, Indicates a Transformation

WebMD, the hypochondriac's favorite online hangout, has scooped up a start-up called Avado. Based in Redmond, Wash., Avado provides Patient Relationship Management solutions (PRM) to healthcare centers. The firm is focused on bringing the benefits of the Internet to the paper-cluttered workplaces of these organizations. Avado's patient relationship management technology lets doctors and patients connect with each other to manage and track personal health care, leveraging a cloud-based system.

Avado was founded in 2010 by Dave Chase, Bassam Saliba and John Yii, all savvy tech entrepreneurs. Chase, who previously led Microsoft’s health-care technology business, told GeekWire in an email that WebMD was the right fit as an acquirer in part because it’s viewed as a neutral platform and doesn’t pose a threat to the health-care provider.

Bill Pence, WebMD’s chief operating officer and chief technology officer praised Avado's "innovative technology," and said that its tools "will complement, and further accelerate WebMD’s efforts to connect patients with their healthcare providers, which is an important first step toward making connected care a reality." His words were included in the official press release announcing yesterday's deal. The price of the buy was not disclosed.

WebMD, which was launched 17 years ago in the dot-com boom, still gets substantial traffic. The site reportedly experiences 138 million unique visitors per month, and saw total traffic of 2.95 billion page views during the third quarter of 2013, but it's still got to acclimate to the rapidly evolving online healthcare world if it wants to stay on top. It seems WebMD is up to the challenge, and is looking to become a health technology company, as opposed to just a destination for prospective patients to analyze their skin rashes.

Exactly how WebMD will implement Avado's technology is not clear, but the company says it will become "an important building block of WebMD's patient-provider connectivity offering."

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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