Zimmer Biomet Buys Telerehabilitation Platform

Posted in Mobile Health by Chris Newmarker on October 31, 2016

The acquisition of RespondWell adds to the “Signature Solutions” array of technologies and services that the orthopedics giants is packaging together for healthcare providers.

Chris Newmarker

RespondWellZimmer Biomet recently announced that it is acquiring RespondWell, a telerehabilitation technology meant to provide personalized, clinician-supervised post-surgical physical therapy to people in their own homes.

RespondWell's offerings include its Therapy@Home online program that takes users through healthcare provider–chosen physical therapy routines. It's also offered its Fitness@Home online wellness exercise program.

Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. RespondWell will be added to the Signature Solutions package of technologies and services that Zimmer Biomet has started to offer to improve recoveries from orthopedic procedures. Such services could increasingly be in demand because both public and private healthcare payers, in the U.S. and beyond, are increasingly bundling payments for such procedures in order to steer healthcare providers toward focusing on the value of care versus its quantity.

"The new value-based reimbursement environment compels hospitals and providers to assume responsibility for patient outcomes well after discharge and through the critical rehabilitation period," David Nolan, group president of biologics, extremities, sports medicine, surgical, trauma, foot and ankle and office based technologies, said in a news release.

"Integrating an innovative and comprehensive telerehabilitation program into our Zimmer Biomet Signature Solutions offering addresses the emerging need for healthcare providers to oversee and optimize post-surgical recovery outcomes in order to maximize value across the entire episode of care,” Nolan said.

Discussions Zimmer Biomet has had with large academic institutions have included the possibility of deep partnership that include risk sharing, CEO David Dvorak explained during an earnings call with analysts on Monday.

“To do that well, obviously, it requires an end-to-end management in the episode of care. And that's where the patient engagement tools become so important,” Dvorak said during the call, which was transcribed by Seeking Alpha.

Zimmer Biomet’s stock was down about 13% in Monday afternoon trading, to about $16 per share, after the company reported third quarter sales of $1.83 billion, up 4% year-over-year but below expectations. Dvorak cited problems transitioning supply-chain infrastructure; Zimmer and Biomet closed their $14 billion merger in June 2015.

“In response to this challenge, we have accelerated work to enhance certain aspects of our supply-chain infrastructure as we harmonize and optimize our sourcing, manufacturing and quality management systems,” Dvorak said.

Discover how reimbursement trends are affecting connected medical devices at BIOMEDevice San Jose, December 7–8, 2016.

Chris Newmarker is senior editor of Qmed. Follow him on Twitter at @newmarker.

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[Image courtesy of RespondWell]