Privately owned Remedy Health Media, whose health portal sites mostly help patients prepare for a doctor’s visit, is adding condition-specific brands to its network in a bid to extend its reach to specialist physicians. 

Thanks to an acquisition by Topspin Partners, the private equity fund that owns Remedy, the online publisher will welcome to the fold Vertical Health, whose portfolio includes EndocrineWeb, OnTrack Diabetes, PsyCom, Spine Universe and Practical Pain Management (pictured above).   

Topspin sourced the deal. There was no buy-side or sell-side advisor. 

Housing those within the Remedy Health network, which includes sites such as HealthCentral, HealthCentral Guides at the point-of-care and BerkeleyWellness, adds scale and depth in reaching healthcare professionals, specifically specialists, and presents a more compelling offering for pharma brands that want to reach them.

“We think this is a really perfect fit for us and extension of the strategy that we validated in TheBody,” said Mike Cunnion, CEO of Remedy.

Another current Remedy brand, TheBody, a resource for the HIV/AIDS community, has had a professional section for years called TheBodyPro, so the acquisition of Vertical Health is consistent with an existing plan.

“When you look at the healthcare media space…no one is really thinking of it at the specialist level,” Cunnion said, “and so we see the acquisition adding to a strategy that has worked effectively for us in TheBody and has allowed us to expand that strategy into communities and specialists that are really important.”

Those communities include diabetes and endocrinologists, mental health and its associated specialties, as well as pain management and physicians who specialize in treating pain. Cunnion said the combination of resources is better able to serve patients and healthcare professionals as they navigate the chronic illness landscape by helping them go deeper than they might be able to on other sites.

“A diabetes patient searching for the term ‘insulin’ can do the research in a highly trusted and credible way on a Vertical Health brand and be connected to inspiring stories,” he said. Remedy added short- and long-form patient stories to its sites several years ago. “The goal is to help them get educated and to take the most appropriate action.”

Cunnion said another draw was Vertical Health’s media partnerships, which include content relationships with such third-party sites as Psych Central, the independent mental health social network. These amplify reach. When partnerships are factored in, Vertical Health attracted 20.4 million total unique visitors to its owned and operated sites in March and Remedy brought in 23.1 million, according to comScore figures cited by Remedy. Without the partnerships, traffic was 6.8 million and 5.3 million for Vertical and Remedy, respectively.

Asked whether Topspin is considering further additions to its media portfolio, Cunnion said “expanding will be really important for us, and we’ll look at it both ways, organic and through acquisition.”