Ayala acquires minority stake in health app

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AYALA Healthcare Holdings, Inc. (AC Health) has acquired a minority stake in a home health application called AIDE, as it bets on technologies that can disrupt the health care industry in the future.

In a statement issued Wednesday, AC Health, a subsidiary of Ayala Corp., said the investment forms part of its strategy to invest in health technology solutions.

The company did not disclose the exact value of the investment, but a source noted that AC Health will hold a minority stake or less than 30%.

AC Health President and Chief Executive Officer Paolo F. Borromeo described AIDE as “an excellent platform to connect patients,” saying that home health could be one of the next game changers in the health care industry.

“Aside from developing our own technology solutions, we are also on the lookout for emerging start-ups and entrepreneurs who can disrupt the health care industry. AIDE is an excellent platform to connect patients with health providers, and we think home health will be one of the next game changers,” Mr. Borromeo said in a statement.

Founded by siblings Paolo, Pamela, and Patrick Bugayong, the AIDE mobile app allows patients to book doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals to provide health care services in their homes. Services range from medical consultations, nursing care, physical therapy, caregiving, lab extraction and interpretation, as well as veterinary care.

AIDE Chief Executive Officer Paolo Bugayong said the partnership with AC Health will help expand their reach to more Filipinos.

“Our goal is to serve both patients and medical professionals. For patients, we offer convenient home health care booking, while for medical professionals, we are offering an innovate cost-effective avenue for their services,” Mr. Bugayong said in a statement.

AC Health established earlier this year its health technology arm called Vigos. The platform develops its own products, such as an Electronic Medial Records and Clinic Information System which is being used across all FamilyDOC clinics. FamilyDOC is a network of community-based clinics also owned by AC Health.

The health care arm of Ayala in 2017 also invested in MedGrocer, an online pharmacy licensed by the Food and Drugs Administration which offers medicine delivery and corporate medicine benefits management.

“We believe AIDE is complementary to our other investments as it helps us extend our reach beyond our retail clinics and pharmacies. We hope to expand our health technology portfolio further because it is both an enabler and integrator of the health care ecosystem that we are building at AC Health,” AC Health Chief Digital Officer Christian Besler said in a statement.

The Ayala group seeks to expand its health care business to more than 1,000 Generika pharmacies, 100 FamilyDOC clinics, and other strategic partnerships with hospitals and specialty centers. Its foray into the health care business comes amid the growing Philippine economy, which the company said could push demand and awareness of health care products and services. — Arra B. Francia