The largest “digital health deal in history” has seen Teladoc acquire its rival Livongo for $18.5bn.
The deal creates a combined group worth $38bn and passes Amazon’s acquisition of Pillpack and the $2.1bn paid by Google for FitBit.
According to Forrester and Forbes, it makes the deal the biggest one in the history of digital health.
Both Teladoc and Livongo have been buying smaller virtual care and digital patient startups in recent years. Teladoc officially completed the purchase of InTouch last month, while Livongo acquired myStrength in 2019.
The explosion of digital health in recent years has been fuelled still further by the COVID-19 pandemic which has underlined the reality of increased levels – and future possibilities – of virtual care.
Analysts say that as telehealth and virtual care become more commonplace, health insurers and funders will have to work harder to demonstrate customer value, bringing more parity in costs between physical engagement with medicines and medical provessional and care delivered in traditional, physical-based settings.