SAN FRANCISCO Aug 6 Practice Fusion, provider
of a free electronic health record service for doctors, bought
app developer Ringadoc on Wednesday as it moves into a new
Telemedicine allows care providers to interact with patients
via devices and related technologies. Research firm IHS forecast
that the U.S. market will grow to $1.9 billion in 2018, from
$240 million in 2013.
Ringadoc, a startup previously based in Practice Fusion's
San Francisco offices, has developed a mobile application and
web service for doctors to manage after-hours patient calls.
It was an attractive target for Practice Fusion, Chief
Executive Ryan Howard said, as "it's a base product that every
"This is us diversifying our portfolio," Howard said, adding
that Practice Fusion is planning to launch a host of services
complementary to its best-known product, its health records.
"We cross-sell features constantly."
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Silicon Valley has made a big bet on Practice Fusion in
recent years. The company, which has raised $149 million from
Kleiner Perkins, Qualcomm, PayPal cofounder Peter Thiel and
others, grew rapidly in the wake of the Health Information
Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH), which
incentivized doctors to move from paper-based to digital systems
and defrayed the cost of adoption of electronic health records.
Practice Fusion claims to have 112,000 active medical
professionals using its service each month and a database of
over 81 million patient records.
But the market is flooded with competitors, among them GE
Healthcare, Kareo, Cerner, Epic Systems and Allscripts
. Many of these now offer additional software and
services to physicians, such as billing and claims processing.
Practice Fusion is attempting to differentiate itself by
catering to both doctors and patients.
In April 2013, it launched a service called Patient Fusion
for consumers to peruse doctor reviews and book an appointment
online. Howard said the company also sees massive opportunities
Ringadoc is currently available for $69 a month, but
Practice Fusion may consider subsidizing this cost. Unlike its
chief rivals, the company is able to offer its health record
service for free and makes money through advertising.
(Reporting by Christina Farr; Editing by Nick Zieminski)