Sharecare scales up again with QualityHealth buy

Jeff Arnold, CEO and chairman, Sharecare
Jeff Arnold, CEO and chairman, Sharecare

Personalized wellness platform Sharecare is expanding its reach to tens of millions more customers with the acquisition of QualityHealth, a marketing platform which serves up tools, discounts and other content to an audience of millions of registered online members.

The deal combines companies with complementary consumer assets and client offerings, which the parties hope will provide more value to life science clients, the companies announced. Terms were not disclosed.

The deal, which comes more than two years after Sharecare acquired RealAge from Hearst, pads the company's user numbers even further, as well as its reach. The addition of QualityHealth has the potential to more than triple Sharecare's reach into markets supported by its pharmaceutical and healthcare partners.

It also opens the way to  pursue opportunities with health plans and health exchanges that demand large-scale customer acquisition capabilities, says Jeff Arnold, Sharecare's chairman and CEO.

QualityHealth's chairman and CEO, Rob Rebak, is set to join Sharecare as president of consumer solutions. Rebak will continue to oversee QualityHealth, which retains its office in Jersey City, NJ, and will head up a new centralized Sharecare team focused on consumer revenue, partnerships and member acquisition.

Boasting 50 million registered members, Quality Health has leveraged its online audience with a pay-for-peformance model in which pharma clients pay for individual marketing actions they are looking to drive.

The firm has shifted to an emphasis on consumer health profile management in an effort to better target customers with more personalized information services and product offers.

Both companies have rolled up traffic in the past year, according to Comscore, with Sharecare.com posting 3.8 million US multi-platform unique visitors in Oct. 2014, compared with 3.3 million a year earlier. QualityHealth saw growth to 5 million from 2.7 million year-to-year.

Sharecare claims that 40 million people have provided health status and habits data which its uses to create a comprehensive user profiles.

Launched by Arnold and Dr. Mehmet Oz in 2010 with backing from Oprah Winfrey and the Discovery Channel, Sharecare boosted its user numbers in 2012 with the buy of RealAge and the incorporation into its site registration of the Real Age Test that asks users about lifestyle habits and medical history.

In 2012 it purchased healthcare decision support software developer PKC Corp.'s integrated decision support technology for instantly developing patient diagnoses and comprehensive management plans that may be forwarded on to physicians.