MobileHelp is a personal safety and medical monitoring system that uses GPS tracking to pinpoint a patient’s location so emergency personnel can find them faster. The device can also detect falls and is used across more than 300,000 households, the company says.
Acquiring MobileHelp also gives Advocate Aurora Enterprises access to Clear Arch Health, MobileHelp’s sister company that it spun off into a separate entity. Clear Arch operates software that integrates with electronic health records and allows physicians to create customized care plans for patients with chronic diseases and monitor them remotely.
Advocate Aurora Enterprises President Scott Powder declined to disclose terms of the deal, but said Advocate plans to keep all of MobileHelp and Clear Arch’s 280 employees and allow the Boca Raton, Fla.-based companies to keep operating under their own branding. MobileHelp, founded in 2006, was acquired by Boston-based private-equity firm Abry Partners in 2017. But with today’s deal, Powder says Advocate now owns 100% of MobileHelp and Clear Arch.
Last year, Advocate Aurora Enterprises also acquired Towson, Md.-based Senior Helpers, a home care and wellness company.
“We have a very big belief that we can essentially become a national leader in the aging independently space by helping assemble companies that provide services and technology that help seniors age safely and comfortably in their own homes as long as possible,” Powder says.
Aside from senior services, Advocate has also invested in other health companies, such as San Francisco-based Foodsmart. The company offers nutrition counseling and other digital services designed to make it easier for people to eat well on a budget.
Advocate Aurora Enterprises’ deal today reflects the growing demand from patients and their physicians for software-based tools to manage conditions or provide care.
Throughout the pandemic, more seniors and their families turned to devices like MobileHelp’s as health officials urged people to stay at home, says MobileHelp CEO Rob Flippo.
There was more demand for Clear Arch as physicians looked for ways to deliver care remotely instead of having patients come to a facility that could put them at risk for catching COVID-19.
The demand translated to increased revenue for the companies, though they declined to disclose specifics.
Other large health systems have also launched investment arms as they look to diversify growth strategies. Peoria-based OSF HealthCare recently raised a $100 million fund through its innovation arm, OSF Ventures. With this third fund, the Peoria-based fund’s total assets under management amount to $250 million. So far, OSF has invested in nearly 30 companies.
This story first appeared in our sister publication, Crain’s Chicago Business.