Zimmer Biomet is expanding into telemedicine through the acquisition of RespondWell, a startup whose software allows patients to rehabilitate from surgery at home using messaging, videos, and monitoring handled over the Internet.
Warsaw, IN-based Zimmer Biomet (NYSE: ZBH) is one of the largest providers of medical devices and products for musculoskeletal care. But care is not limited to procedures performed at the hospital, and a growing number of patients are recovering at home. Zimmer Biomet says adding Grand Rapids, MI-based RespondWell helps it offer medical professionals the ability to provide “telerehabilitation”—post-surgical physical therapy that the patient can do from home.
RespondWell’s signature product is called Therapy@Home. The software provides a personalized rehabilitation plan along with an interactive video game approach to exercises, which is intended to improve patient compliance with the regimen. The software also allows medical professionals to monitor patients remotely and offer instructions, which RespondWell says saves on the time and cost of follow-up visits and rehabilitation programs based in the clinic.
According to a MiBiz report in March, RespondWell raised $2 million from investors and had been been aiming to raise another $8 million to support further development.
Zimmer Biomet disclosed no financial terms for the RespondWell acquisition. But the company says it fits with “Signature Solutions,” an initiative that combines consulting services that it started in the 1990s along with newer technologies aimed at helping healthcare facilities show that the care services they provide actually deliver value and cost savings. When Zimmer Biomet unveiled Signature Solutions in September, the company said that some of the services and technologies that would comprise the offering would come via partnerships and acquisitions. RespondWell is now part of the Signature Solutions portfolio.
Zimmer Biomet says it is launching research partnerships for Signature Solutions at U.S. academic research centers. A commercial launch of the offering is planned for next year.