WebMD to add patient portal through Avado acquisition

WebMD, which so far has focused on healthcare content, is adding patient engagement technology with the acquisition of Avado for an undisclosed sum.

Avado's patient portal is designed to help doctors and patients interact through messaging, reminders and appointment scheduling using EMR-agnostic technology. During its third-quarter earnings call, WebMD executives called the acquisition "a key building block" for its patient engagement platform, reports MedCity News.

Avado, founded by Microsoft veterans Dave Chase, Bassam Saliba and John Yii, is part of the technology entrepreneurship initiative StartUp Health, and also took part in the New York Digital Health Accelerator.

Chase told GeekWire that WebMD was the right fit for the Redmond, Wash.-based company in part because it's viewed as a neutral platform and doesn't pose a threat to providers, insurance companies or electronic medical record vendors, which should pave the way for widespread adoption of the technology.

"Avado's innovative technology and tools will complement, and further accelerate, WebMD's efforts to connect patients with their healthcare providers, which is an important first step toward making connected care a reality," Bill Pence, WebMD's chief operating officer and chief technology officer, said in an announcement.

WebMD previously rolled out a mobile app that allows physicians to securely send instructions as well as information about conditions and drugs to patients who also use the app.

Avado was the second StartUp Health company to be bought out. Genetic sequencing company Arpeggi was acquired in August by consumer genetic testing company Gene by Gene.

To learn more:
- read the MedCity News article
- find the GeekWire story
- here's the WebMD announcement
- see the Gene by Gene announcement