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Booz Allen Buys Epidemico, Developers Behind Ebola-Tracking App HealthMap
If you live in the US, you probably know that Ebola isn't that great of a direct threat to you. As of the time of this writing, a total of eighteen cases have been treated in Europe and the US, with the disease's outbreak largely being confined to West Africa. The CDC only lists a single American casualty thus far.
But, that doesn't change the fact that Ebola is a hot topic in the US and Europe right now, and that it is doing a lot of damage in West Africa. So, an app that tracks the Ebola outbreak, keeping users up to date with fresh stats on the when and where of Ebola cases, can be a tremendous resource for healthcare workers in countries with high transmission rates.
In the West, letting people see how low those numbers are in the Western world, in real time, may help to curb the hysteria that we associate with Ebola, Swine Flu, and every other headline-dominating disease.
Epidemico, a Boston-based health tech startup, have developed just such an app, called HealthMap. Is Ebola as big a deal in the US and Europe as many news sources have made it out to be. No. But HealthMap may prove a solid foundation for tracking more rampant diseases and even the flu and the common cold, so it's no wonder Booz Allen Hamilton saw some real potential in the app developer and made them his second health industry acquisition in a week's time, following Iowa's Genova Technologies' healthcare division.
The app first made the news having tracked the outbreak of Ebola in Africa weeks ago, before it had been declared an epidemic, letting people know just how fast the disease was spreading.
Booz Allen's acquisition of the company is part of a long-term strategy to invest in growing industries, namely healthcare, and cutting edge, innovative tech. Epidemico seems like a smart buy when you consider that some of the brand's power user clients include the Department of Homeland Security and the CDC (it is notable that these are clients whom the startup shares with Booz Allen).
The buy was announced late October. The purchase price remains undisclosed, but it's easy to imagine that the developer would command a large number on the open market, and that their value as a health technology company will only grow in the coming months as the Ebola epidemic plays out.
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