WellPoint Takes Investment Stake in SoloHealth

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Bart Foster, Solo Health (back) with WellPoint’s Brett Moraski and Anna D.
Wong with the SoloHealth station kiosk.
ATLANTA. and INDIANAPOLIS— SoloHealth has announced a new strategic relationship with WellPoint, Inc. (NYSE: WLP), one of the nation’s largest health benefits companies, which includes a financial investment in SoloHealth by WellPoint. The terms of the deal and details of the partnership were not disclosed by the companies.

However, according to SEC filings, SoloHealth raised $12 million in an equity offering on July 26, in an investment round led by WellPoint, VMail has learned.

The news comes on the heel of SoloHealth’s recent FDA approval for its SoloHealth Station kiosk in June along with its announcement at that time of an aggressive rollout of the kiosks to retail locations nationwide to begin this fall, as VMail reported. As of now, those pilot locations include SoloHealth stations in certain Wal-Mart, Safeway, Publix, CVS and Sam’s Club locations, according to SoloHealth’s website.

The SoloHealth Station is an interactive, comprehensive health and wellness screening kiosk for consumers placed in high-traffic retail locations or strategic, high-volume places like corporate campuses or hospitals. The SoloHealth Station provides health screenings for vision, blood pressure, weight, and body mass index, a symptom checker as well as an overall health assessment free of charge. SoloHealth also helps connect consumers to local health care professionals through their database.

Brett Moraski, vice president of transformation for WellPoint, stated, “We have a longstanding commitment to help people get healthy and stay healthy by leveraging consumer-friendly products and services to improve their health and wellness. SoloHealth’s consumer kiosk, the SoloHealth Station, is a truly innovative product that leverages technology to provide an enhanced, convenient and engaging consumer health experience. By investing in SoloHealth, we are excited to help millions of Americans better manage their own health and well-being.” Moraski has been named to the SoloHealth board of directors.

“WellPoint is an established, trusted health benefits company and we are proud to benefit both from a financial investment as well as explore future opportunities to help improve access to convenient and affordable health care services,” said Bart Foster, CEO & founder of SoloHealth. “We will utilize the additional funding to invest back into our technology and platform, as well as help scale as we continue our nationwide rollout.”

WellPoint recently completed the acquisition of 1-800 CONTACTS a deal originally announced June 4, as reported by VMail. 1-800 is now a subsidiary of WellPoint, one of the country’s largest health plans with 34 million people covered in its branded health plans and approximately 65 million people served through its subsidiaries. WellPoint is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association and its plans do business as Anthem Blue Cross, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia and Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield, or Empire Blue Cross. WellPoint also serves customers across the country through its UniCare subsidiary and in certain California, Arizona and Nevada markets through its CareMore subsidiary. WellPoint also manages its own vision care insurance plans.

SoloHealth utilizes patented technology to deploy interactive, bilingual health screening kiosks to help consumers assess their health, providing free health screenings and recommendations for follow-up care. The company’s award-winning first offering was the EyeSite Vision kiosk. In summer 2010, the company received a $1.2 million grant from the National Institute of Health (NIH), a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. In 2011, SoloHealth announced its next-generation kiosk, the SoloHealth Station. In March 2011, Coinstar, Inc. (NASDAQ: CSTR), owner of Redbox, made a financial investment in SoloHealth.