3m Scoops Up Clinical Speech Recognition Business For $1b
03 de Enero, 2019
Tiempo estimado de lectura: 3 minutos
3M acquired the tech business of healthcare speech recognition company M*Modal for $1 billion, highlighting healthcare players’ bullishness on voice tech in healthcare
M*Modal sells voice software that integrates with electronic health record (EHR) systems and allows doctors to verbally create, edit, and sign patient notes. The acquisition builds on 3M’s existing healthcare portfolio, which includes clinical documentation software and risk assessment systems that help providers analyze patient data, per ZDNet.
Voice tech is at a tipping point in healthcare as tech companies push their way into the space and providers look to improve clinical documentation:
Big tech’s been recruiting developers to create healthcare voice skills and placing strategic bets on healthcare voice startups. For example, both Google and Amazon invested in Aiva Health in 2018, a voice-powered healthcare assistant for seniors. And news surfaced in May 2018 that Amazon is building a health and wellness team within its Alexa division. These tech companies likely anticipate that fostering an ecosystem of health-related voice skills will make their smartphones and smart speakers more valuable healthcare tools for consumers and providers.
And voice shows promise to combat inefficiencies in physician note-taking. Physicians’ frustrations around extensive note-taking and time spent manually organizing EHRs is well-documented, and health systems and hospitals would likely welcome voice assistants that could automate clinical documentation, thereby reducing administrative burdens and increasing face-time with patients. AI-powered voice assistant Suki announced that physicians piloting its service have reduced the amount of time spent on medical notes by 70%, for example.
3M’s acquisition rounds out 2018 as another big year for digital health merger and acquisition (M&A) activity. There were a record-breaking 54 digital health acquisitions and mergers in the US in 2018 through December 18, up 23% year-over-year (YoY) from the 44 deals that occurred in 2017, according to MobiHealthNews.
Many of these deals were similar to 3M’s recent deal — established healthcare players have been acquiring digital health startups, betting on the firms as potential sources of future revenue. For example, remote patient monitoring and sleep apnea company ResMed purchased digital therapeutics startup Propeller Health for $225 million, and health IT company Change Healthcare acquired the assets of healthcare blockchain startup PokitDok in late December.
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