One Medical Buys Virtual Nutritionist App Rise

Douglas MacMillan | The Wall Street Journal Digits | February 5, 2016

One Medical Group gives hundreds of thousands of patients quick access to primary care physicians. With its latest deal, it hopes to connect them with a network of virtual nutritionists. The healthcare company said it is acquiring Rise, a mobile app connecting smartphone users to licensed nutritionists for daily advice on meal planning and dieting. One Medical paid about $20 million to acquire the startup, people familiar with the matter said.

The deal is part of a wave of consolidation in the digital healthcare space, where established device makers, service providers and apparel brands have looked to snap up any fitness and health app gaining traction with users. More than 200 venture-backed healthcare startups were acquired by larger companies since the beginning of 2015, according to data from Dow Jones VentureSource. That includes MyFitnessPal, a developer of mobile fitness apps, which sold to Under Armour Inc. -0.48% for $475 million a year ago.

One Medical, the brand of clinics operated by eight-year-old startup 1Life Healthcare Inc., sees an opportunity to offer its patients a wider range of healthcare services via the smartphone that could potentially save them trips to the doctor’s office. Its members, who each pay an annual subscription of $99 to $199, already have access to a service called Treat Me Now, which provides answers to basic health questions such as how to treat seasonal allergies...