Optum Acquires Majority Stake In Emerging Med-Tech Co.
UnitedHealth Group subsidiary Optum Health has acquired a majority stake in emerging med-tech company Audax Health for an undisclosed sum.
Washington, D.C.-based Audax, which was founded in 2010, works with insurance and technology companies to help consumers manage their health goals and plans. The company said it also works with wearable tech companies like Fitbit, Polar, and Withings to provide consumers with digital products that promote good health.
Audax’s cornerstone product, Zensey, is a website that motivates users to maintain healthy lifestyles with personalized content, social networking, and individual and team challenges and games.
Minnetonka-based UnitedHealth’s Optum said it plans to expand Audax’s offerings and integrate the company’s benefit selection, wellness, and health care administration sectors.
“Since day one, our vision at Audax has been to positively impact the way consumers manage their health. Today, we took a huge step toward achieving that goal,” Audax CEO and founder Grant Verstandig said in a statement. “Joining with Optum, especially with its unmatched depth of experience and resources, accelerates our momentum, providing the additional reach and scale required to meaningfully advance health care more rapidly.”
Verstandig is reportedly one of the youngest CEOs in the health-tech industry at just 24 years old. Audax said that Verstandig, along with the current executive team, will continue to run the company.
“Optum’s investment in Audax is evidence that a new era of consumer engagement and innovation can be the turning point that sets a new trajectory for global health care services,” Audax Board Director John Sculley said in a statement.
Optum serves as the technology-focused side of UnitedHealth’s health services business. The company recently attracted some major national health players as partners for its health care research center, Optum Labs.