Wireless health monitoring company CardioNet named Joseph Capper president and CEO this week, effective immediately. Capper was formerly president and CEO of diabetes care company Home Diagnostics, which Japan-based Nipro acquired earlier this year. CardioNet’s offering uses wireless and medical technology to diagnose and monitor cardiac arrhythmias.
CardioNet’s interim CEO Randy Thurman, who stepped in when Ari Cohen left the firm in January 2009, will remain as chairman of the company’s board.
Capper’s appointment was nearly a year-and-a-half in the making. It was a difficult year for CardioNet, too, since Highmark CMS decided to cut reimbursement for the company’s product and services by a third, which led to cuts in the company’s operations.
Given Capper’s previous experience at two diabetes-focused companies, we wonder whether CardioNet will begin to get more aggressive about moving into other verticals, which it has previously noted as part of its future plans:
CardioNet is always quick to describe itself as “initially focused” on monitoring cardiac arrhythmias, which certainly points to hopes to leverage its mobile health offering in other markets. Last July, CardioNet’s Director of Business Development Aaron Goldmuntz laid out his company’s growth strategy during a presentation at Qualcomm’s Smart Services Leadership Summit in San Diego. Immediate opportunities for growth, Goldmuntz said, included leveraging CardioNet’s platform to develop additional applications that relate to atrial fibrillation. Adjacent markets could include work in clinical trials, increased business with cardiac surgeons, applications addressing stroke prevention as well as leveraging the CardioNet platform for use internationally. Beyond those adjacent markets, Goldmuntz pointed to other conditions that CardioNet sees as potential opportunities for wireless diagnostic and monitoring tools: sleep apnea, hypertension, heart failure, diabetes and neurology.
“In summary, the convergence of healthcare and information technology is resulting in one of the most important trends for the next twenty years – wireless medicine – and CardioNet is uniquely positioned to capitalize on this unprecedented opportunity over the long term,” Thurman said. “Today, we are a leader in wireless medicine focused on cardiac arrhythmia monitoring and diagnostics. Building market share and making intelligent investments are our current focus. Tomorrow, we aspire to be the unquestioned leader in a healthcare revolution.”
CardioNet has also been at the center of acquisition rumors during the past year. After serving as CEO of Home Diagnostics for about one year, Capper oversaw its acquisition by Nipro. Here’s how Capper’s bio on the CardioNet site describes his experience at Home Diagnostics: “Joe joined Home Diagnostics in 2009 and positioned the Company for a strategic merger in a transaction that created substantial value to its stakeholders. Home Diagnostics was listed on the NASDAQ stock market until its strategic merger.”
So the question remains: Is Capper being brought in to help Thurman realize his vision for CardioNet to become “an unquestioned leader of the healthcare revolution”? Or is he being brought in to find CardioNet’s buyer?