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HealthCentral Buys Acquires Tech-Centric Health Portal Wellsphere

This story was written by Tameka Kee.

More consolidation in the online health space: IAC-backed HealthCentral has acquired fellow health and wellness-focused network Wellsphere. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Wellsphere will continue to operate out of its San Mateo base.

Though HealthCentral says the acquisition bumps up its reach to about 10 million monthly uniques, it still trails behind WebMD (NSDQ: WBMD) and the combined Waterfront Media-Revolution Health network. But this deal goes beyond scaleit's also a technology play. Wellsphere operates search engine-style; users type terms in a search box on the front page and the site serves up categorized blog posts, articles from sources like the FDA, images and videos.

The company runs Wellphone, a mobile service with local search listings; users can also set up SMS alerts for things like medication dosing schedules or personal training appointments. And Wellsphere's enterprise-facing technology powers BeWell@Stanford, a wellness portal for Stanford University students, faculty and staff.

Flush with cash from a double-digit investment from a group of investors (including IAC, Sequoia Capital, Carlyle Group and Polaris Venture Partners), HealthCentral bought out HIV resource site and prescription drug info service MedTrack last year; it also launched a health ad network with IAC (NSDQ: IACI).

By Tameka Kee

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