4 Big Tech billion-dollar acquisitions in healthcare

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In the last 30 years, Big Tech — Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft, Google and Apple — have collectively made over 800 acquisitions. Even amid the COVID-19 pandemic, they have continued to write billion-dollar checks. Here are the four biggest acquisitions that assist these tech giants in their healthcare initiatives, according to a CB Insights report.

Four billion-dollar acquisitions that support health IT:

  1. Nest, $3.2 billion. Nest was not initially used in healthcare. However, Google uses Nest for several health monitoring programs, such as sleep sensing. During the pandemic, New York City-based Mount Sinai and Google Nest teamed up to install video and audio technologies for monitoring critically ill COVID-19 patients.

  2. PillPack, $1 billion. After a year of speculation if Amazon would use Whole Foods to emerge into the pharmaceutical market, the tech giant purchased PillPack, a "full-service" pharmacy with a 24/7 customer service team. It manages prescription medications for its customers by packaging, organizing and delivering them.

  3. Fitbit, $2.1 billion. Google purchased Fitbit in an effort to improve its wearables division. It uses the app to track a user's health and wellness data and stores the data it collects. For example, Google launched a health equity research initiative that uses Fitbit's stored data to address health disparities.

  4. Nuance, $19.7 billion. Although this acquisition has not been finalized, Microsoft is expected to buy speech recognition company Nuance Communications in an all-cash transaction by the end of the year. Microsoft said Nuance's technology will be used to expand its healthcare offerings for its cloud products. Nuance currently sells tools for recognizing and transcribing speech in physician visits, voicemails and more.

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