WebMD buys startup Avado to connect patients and physicians

Online health information company WebMD (s WBMD) has snapped up Avado, a startup that develops cloud-based software to let physicians and patients interact.

The companies declined to disclose financial information, but said Avado’s technology will be integrated under the WebMD brand and that the founders will join the company to continue developing the technology and business relationships.

In addition to its consumer-facing health information site, WebMD offers content and services for healthcare professionals, as well as private online health portals that enable employees or health plan members to manage health information and decisions.

WebMD said its services already enable physicians using its Medscape mobile app to send health information related to conditions, procedures and treatment to their patients who use WebMD’s consumer mobile app. With Avado, the company plans to step up its efforts to help patients engage with physicians.

“We believe we are uniquely positioned to connect our physician and consumer audiences,” WebMD CEO David Schlanger told Bloomberg.

Earlier this year, the company announced a partnership with Qualcomm Life (s QCOM) to help consumers sync and analyze data from wireless health and fitness devices. At the time, WebMD CTO Bill Pence told me that it was part of the company’s shift from offering “trusted content to [being] a full-service engagement platform for patients.” The Avado deal clearly extends that ongoing effort.

Based in Seattle and New York, Avado was founded in 2010 by former Microsoftie David Chase, Bassam Saliba and John Yii. It’s part of the Startup Health academy in New York and has raised funding from the New York Digital Health Accelerator and other health technology angel investors.