UnitedHealth Group acquires PatientsLikeMe to beef-up its R&D


UnitedHealth Group has acquired PatientsLikeMe, an online patient community portal, with the idea to integrate the company in its research arm that focuses on healthcare improvements and innovation.

“This independent unit of UnitedHealth Group invests in research that speeds improvements to drive innovation in healthcare,” Jamie Heywood, CEO of PatientsLikeMe, wrote in an email. “We’ve chosen to join with UnitedHealth Group Research & Development because they share that same drive to improve health at the individual level and to ensure that healthcare outcomes across the board are more effective.”

PatientLikeMe won’t be changing its name nor the way how a member’s personal data will be handled.

The news comes on the heels of stories suggesting that PatientsLikeMe was seeking a new buyer due to concerns of foreign investment and influence.

Specifically, Tencent-backed CarbonX — which played a major role in PatientsLikeMe’s $100M funding round back in early 2017 — was facing pressure from the Trump Administration’s Committee of Foreign Investment in the United States to divest its substantial stake in the company.

PatientsLikeMe’s platform provides people with a chronic condition with the opportunity to track and share symptoms and treatment experiences, contribute data for research and connect with others who are going through similar situations.