Stryker ponies up $3B to buy Vocera and amp up its digital communications

Stryker inked a $3 billion deal to dramatically reshape its digital patient outreach efforts with the acquisition of Vocera Communications.

The care coordination provider found new value during the COVID-19 pandemic, when clinicians and surgeons needed to find new ways to connect with their patients remotely and also to streamline their efforts to help meet the high demand for real-time, personal interactions.

Stryker said it plans to wield Vocera’s portfolio—which includes smartphone apps and workflow analytics software as well as its own hand-held communications hardware for hospital staff—to link up the medtech’s various data-generating medical devices.

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Under the terms of the agreement, Stryker will pay $79.25 in cash for each of 21-year-old Vocera’s outstanding shares, totaling about $2.97 billion. Including the value of convertible notes pushes the deal’s total enterprise value to about $3.09 billion. The acquisition is slated to close before the end of March.

Vocera counts nearly 1,900 hospitals and healthcare facilities as its customers. In the third quarter of 2021 the San Jose, California-based company posted $63.6 million in revenue, representing a 18% boost over the same three months the year before and resulting in just over $2 million in net income.

When the quarterly earnings were reported last October, Vocera had projected revenues of between $226 million and $233 million for full-year 2021.

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Last November, Vocera announced it would work with Amazon to bring its programs to the retail giant’s Alexa devices, with the goal of providing a HIPAA-eligible healthcare app for patients and their families for use both at home and in hospitals. Any verbal requests made to Alexa would be analyzed and then forwarded to the most relevant member of the patient’s care team.

“Vocera has more than 20 years of experience in voice communication technology, and with more than 50 clinicians on staff, we understand the benefits of hands-free communication and how it protects and connects patients and care teams,” Dave Lively, Vocera’s senior vice president of product management, said in a statement at the time.