In a marriage of two companies operating out of Volta, Blue Charm Adherence has purchased Symbi Medical for an undisclosed price to increase the capabilities of its software and help patients get the best treatment possible.

Blue Charm is led by CEO Greg Patey, previously one of the Co-Founders of STI Technologies, which helped drug companies distribute samples efficiently. It was sold to the American multinational QuintilesIMS in February 2017, reportedly for $200 million.

His new startup specializes in “medication adherence”, meaning it has developed a digital solution that helps patients take all the steps necessary to ensure the best recovery possible. In purchasing Symbi Medical, it is adding a solution that enhances patient engagement in several medical fields.

“Creating a best-in-class experience for patients provides an environment conducive to improved health literacy and medication adherence,” said Patey in a statement. “The acquisition of Symbi Medical advances Blue Charm's predictive analytics capabilities and takes the patient experience to another level."

Patey launched Blue Charm last year with the announcement that the company had raised equity funding from 27 investors, from Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Ontario. Around the same time, it set up its headquarters in Volta, the Halifax innovation hub.

The company’s technology is a digital platform that engages patients and rewards them with points when they read the literature on their condition, take the proper steps to move toward a cure, and take their medication properly.

Last week, the company announced a new round of funding, and Patey said the two rounds together total $1.6 million. Days later, it announced the Symbi acquisition.

Founded in 2018, Symbi Medical set out to develop technology that assists patients before and after medical procedures and helps healthcare organizations manage risk and reduce waste. It helps these groups enrol patients and communicate with them via text each day before a procedure. It uses predictive analytics to identify patients that may have problems and helps medical officials to intervene when necessary.

As well as the Nova Scotia Health Authority, Symbi has clients throughout Canada and the U.S. including the St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto and Michigan Medicine.

"We are incredibly excited to be joining Blue Charm Adherence in their mission to help patients access life-changing medications and better manage their health," said Symbi CEO Cameron Sehl. "Becoming part of Blue Charm accelerates our progression towards a leadership position in the digital health space and allows us to have an even greater impact on patient care." 

Patey said that bringing in Symbi ensures Blue Charm will offer a more complete product for engaging with patients and helping them to regain their health. Symbi launched its current product in mid-2020, and Blue Charm anticipates a launch of its full product in June.

The merger of the two companies brings the headcount to 10 people, and Patey said in an interview the addition of the Symbi team nicely fills some gaps in its own talent pool.

He credited Volta and the Halifax ecosystem with bringing the two companies together.

“Fundamentally, we met at Volta and that was instrumental in getting this deal done,” said Patey. “The ecosystem as it now exists for our two companies actually worked and it will allow us to do more from a patient care point of view.