Johnson & Johnson acquires HealthMedia

November 4, 2008

Johnson & Johnson?s acquisition of HealthMedia Inc., a provider of Web-based behavioral interventions, speaks to the critical need for a dramatic shift in focus toward wellness and prevention.

Johnson & Johnson’s acquisition of HealthMedia Inc., a provider of Web-based behavioral interventions, speaks to the trend toward wellness and prevention.

“With obesity and chronic conditions at an all-time high-and still growing at alarming rates-there are simply not enough healthcare dollars or healthcare providers to meet the need,” says Jeff Leebaw, vice president, corporate communication, Johnson & Johnson. “There needs to be a shift from disease management-and waiting until the individual becomes ill-to prevention and wellness. Again, this includes not only prevention of illness, but providing the programs and tools to enable individuals with chronic conditions to manage their condition and live a better and more productive life.”According to HHS, chronic care accounts for 78% of all U.S. healthcare spending, 88% of all prescriptions and 72% of all physician visits. Further, the American Institute for Preventive Medicine reports that research shows that every $1 spent on wellness programs generates up to $6 in future reduced healthcare costs and cost avoidance.

“Corporate America obviously sees great value in wellness,” says MHE Editor Advisor Al Lewis, president of the Disease Management Purchasing Consortium.

The acquisition of HealthMedia, Ann Arbor, Mich., is the first step in the establishment of a Wellness & Prevention initiative by Johnson & Johnson. Johnson & Johnson Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Bill Weldon, in announcing the establishment of a Wellness & Prevention business and the acquisition of HealthMedia Inc., said: “Our establishment of a Wellness & Prevention platform recognizes our conviction that a comprehensive solution must begin long before the onset of illness, and that investing in wellness and prevention now can avoid more costly healthcare expenses later.”

HealthMedia’s Web-based products emulate a health coaching session without the human intervention. Johnson & Johnson will acquire HealthMedia’s entire suite of online behavior change interventions in wellness, disease management, behavioral health, and medication adherence. These include programs for weight management, nutrition, physical activity, smoking cessation, diabetes, back pain, chronic pain, stress management, depression, insomnia, binge eating, and chronic illness management.

The Wellness & Prevention business is a result of the work of J&J’s Office of Strategy & Growth, established at the beginning of this year to identify new growth opportunities in areas distinct from its existing pharmaceutical, medical device and diagnostics, and consumer businesses. J&J expects to grow the HealthMedia business over time through new product development and customer acquisition, and global expansion.