Friday, September 21, 2007

Going, Going.....Google

Two bits of follow up on previous posts about the health care IT space.

AthenaHealth absolutely hit one out of the park with its IPO.

Shares opened at $18 and nearly doubled, hitting $35.50. This could be a big win for its VC investors including Oak Investment Partners, Venrock Associates, Draper, Fisher Jurvetson and Cardinal Partners. All together the four owned 65% of the company prior to the opening. IN VIVO Blog talked about the importance of this IPO back in June.

Meanwhile, speculation abounds that Google, in a bid to bolster its presence on the Web, is eyeing an acquisition of health care Web site leader WebMD. Last month, IN VIVO Blog admitted to being slightly underwhelmed by the early glimpses of Google's health offerings.

Apparently, we're not the only ones. Dan Penny, director and lead analyst for publishing Outsell Inc., a market research firm focused on the publishing industry, writes:

Implications: The discovery in 2005 that 12% of individuals would consult Google before seeing a doctor has sent a message to the search giant that it should be doing something with health information, but it doesn't seem to know how to add value to an area where others have stolen a march. Google Health, as it stands, is a confusing experiment that offers little more than an old-fashioned portal for health information. Google now realises that it needs to do more than aggregate, because the boom in online health information has sent users flocking to WebMD and similar sites, such as AOL Health and RevolutionHealth. A year ago, the idea of Google acquiring WebMD would have seemed rather bizarre, but since the purchase of YouTube, Google has proven its willingness to spend, and to spend on content as well as technology. Moreover, its rival, Microsoft, bought Medstory earlier this year in a clear attempt to secure some of the healthcare vertical for itself.
Oh yeah, and Google's health care push probably wasn't helped by the fact the fellow in charge of the effort is leaving.

Now back to your regularly scheduled programming....

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