Stryker sets sights on health IT with splashy $3.1B acquisition

Spinal Tech

Stryker has acquired 46 companies in its 81-year history, including 14 in the last five years. Its most recent acquisition, Vocera Communications, was finalized in February for $3.1 billion. But what does Stryker have planned for the health IT company?

The deal has been described as a "natural fit" for Vocera by BTIG analyst Ryan Zimmerman, who also said it appears Stryker is expanding beyond its core medtech focus.

For Stryker, the acquisition offers "significant opportunities to advance innovations and accelerate our digital aspirations" a core focus for the future, CEO Kevin Lobo said in a Feb. 23 news release.

The company said it is interested in Vocera's "highly complementary and innovative portfolio" of clinical communication and workflow products — used in nearly 1,900 healthcare facilities — to help connect caregivers and "disparate data-generating medical devices."

Specifically, Vocera's software and hardware for remote communication complements Stryker's advanced digital healthcare offerings and will help its customers prevent adverse events throughout the care continuum, according to the release.

Vocera's latest technology, a wearable, voice-driven device that allows mobile healthcare workers to communicate hands-free, launched in March. The device integrates with various clinical and operational systems and enables those in isolated environments to stay connected, ask for help, access information and request supplies without having to leave the bedside or remove personal protective equipment.

Vocera CEO Brent Lang said the Stryker acquisition is "an exciting opportunity for Vocera, given the clear alignment of mission, goals and culture between our two organizations and our ability to drive even greater economic and clinical value for our customers."

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