Wolters Kluwer Eyes Digital Health Acquisitions In India


Netherlands-based Wolters Kluwer is exploring potential digital health acquisitions in India as part of a larger effort to expand its healthcare footprint within India’s emerging economy. Wolters Kluwer is a software vendor that focuses on accounting and healthcare. The corporation is parent company to a number of healthcare businesses, including UpToDate, the popular evidence-based medical reference app used by physicians in academic hospitals across the US, Europe, and India. Insiders at Wolters Kluwer report that the market for evidence-based medicine tools is small in India, but the customers have have signed are adopting the tools rapidly and sales pipelines are growing.

To continue its momentum, Wolters Kluwer plans to acquire additional digital health startups working in India that have pre-existing relationships with local hospitals. The company will also form strategic partnerships with digital health companies working in the country. Through these relationships, Wolters Kluwer will move to cross-sell products from its growing digital health portfolio to build its market presence and name recognition. Shireesh Sahai, CEO of Wolters Kluwer India explains, "In India we will be expanding in the digital health segment and acquire assets which will help us expand in this direction. We will target hospitals in tier-II and III cities and showcase our products and explain need for them to adopt such software and applications."

While the overall digital health industry has boomed in recent years, the evidence-based medicine subsector has remained relatively stable, with Epocrates, UpToDate, Dynamed, and Medscape controlling the market. Epocrates was acquired by Athenahealth in 2013 for a staggering $293 million, but rather than expand its market share and international presence, Epocrates has floundered under its new ownership, leaving the competition for early market share in emerging international markets to the others.

As India’s economy grows and its care delivery model embraces digital technologies, Wolters Kluwer is putting in the work now to secure mind share among early customers as demand ramps up.

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