Providence St. Joseph Health family health app Circle acquired by Wildflower Health

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Hannelore Buckenmeyer, the business lead for Circle, will join Wildflower Health as its VP of strategy and market development. (Photo via LinkedIn)

Seattle’s Providence St. Joseph Health, the third largest health system in the U.S., has spun out a second business.

The internal startup, called Circle, was acquired Thursday by San Francisco company Wildflower Health for an undisclosed sum. Circle is the second business to emerge from Providence’s startup incubator, following the spin-out of health system enterprise software company Xealth.

As part of the deal, Providence has signed an enterprise agreement to use Wildflower’s family health app throughout its hospitals and clinics. Providence also took part in Wildflower’s $8 million Series C financing round, and Providence Chief Digital/Information Officer Aaron Martin will join Wildflower’s board of directors.

The Circle app, which is already being used in more than 30 hospitals, engages parents through pregnancy, childbirth and caring for children as they grow. Its features include everything from breastfeeding tutorials to health trackers to appointment reminders.

The app is a natural fit for Wildflower Health, whose mobile enterprise software promises to let patients manage their entire family’s health on one platform.

“We are committed to growing healthy families and creating long-term value for our payor, provider and employer clients,” Wildflower Founder and CEO Leah Sparks said in a press release. “The addition of Circle’s innovative technology platform and its talented team greatly enhances our ability to simplify healthcare, every day, by making intelligent connections between consumers and the resources they need, when they need them.”

Sarah Ramsay, Circle’s engineering leader, will join Wildflower as its VP of health integration strategy. (Photo via LinkedIn)

Circle is led by business director Hannelore Buckenmeyer and engineering director Sarah Ramsay, both of whom will join Wildflower’s executive team. Buckenmeyer will serve as the company’s VP of strategy and market development and Ramsay as its VP of health integration strategy.

Much of Circle’s staff will also join Wildflower, although they will remain in Portland, Ore., and Seattle.

Circle is just one of Providence’s recent forays into new technology for the healthcare space. In addition to spinning out Xealth, the system co-founded MultiScale Health Systems, a company building a real-time cloud data platform for hospitals.

MultiScale’s goal is to help hospitals build or integrate applications that use the real-time data to improve operational efficiency. The company is a joint venture with computational biology company CODONiS.

“We are continually seeking new ways to engage more consumers in their health between episodes of care, with the goal of ultimately making our communities healthier through continuous digital engagement,” Martin said in a press release. “The combination of Wildflower Health and Circle will result in a comprehensive, personalized solution for family health and will allow PSJH to accelerate our vision of digitally engaging every family we serve.”

Martin, who spent eight years at Amazon before diving into the health space, spoke about Providence’s innovation mission on an episode of GeekWire’s Health Tech Podcast. Listen to that episode in the player below and read more in this post..



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