Halma sets sights on perinatal and prenatal health space with PeriGen acquisition

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Halma, a UK-based health tech company, snapped up perinatal and prenatal health AI company PeriGen for $58 million earlier this week.

Founded in 2000, PeriGen makes software products focused on the childbirth process that give clinicians more patient data based on algorithms and analysis. Its Early Warning System and Clinical Decision Support tool is able to use artificial intelligence to monitor patients in labor and find any potential issues that need to be addressed in a timely manner.

The tool was designed to help clinicians interpret complex data. It provides central surveillance and patient census, as well as bedside surveillance.

According to the announcement, the M&A will give PeriGen “additional recourses” in order to build out its technology in the U.S. and elsewhere.

“The last few years have been transformational for PeriGen and demonstrates the potent combination of aligning the interests of a management team, investors and, most importantly, customers and their patients,” Matthew Sappern, PeriGen CEO, said in a statement.

“Years of financial stability and product discipline have led us to a point where we can make impact at scale in North America and soon beyond as part of Halma plc. We are excited for what the future holds for our company.”

WHY IT MATTERS

The U.S. has one of the highest maternal and infant mortality rates of any developed country. In 2018 the infant mortality rate in the U.S. was 5.7 deaths for 1,000 births, according to the CDC. That number is even higher for Black babies, with a death rate of 10.8 per 1,000 births. Native Americans and Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islanders are also disproportionately impacted by this.

Today technologists are trying to help the medical world solve this issue using digital health.

THE LARGER TREND

Perigen has made some big-name deals in the past. In 2018 the company inked a deal with Qualcomm Life, which let the latter license and sell PeriWatch Vigilance. That same year Renown Health brought PeriGen’s PeriWatch labor surveillance and analysis software into its child birthing unit. 

But PeriGen isn’t the only company focusing on the childbirth space. Dorsta, a maternity care management company, landed $5.2 million in Series A funding in April of 2020.

Also in the space is Sera Prognostics. In January, Sera Prognostics teamed up with Anthem and its HealthCore subsidiary to conduct a randomized controlled trial examining the effectiveness of Sera’s PreTRM test in mitigating risk, improving neonatal outcomes and reducing overall healthcare costs.

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