Royal Philips Electronics, Amsterdam, said Tuesday it will acquire privately held Health Watch Holdings, Cherry Hill, N.J., a provider of personal emergency response services, for about $130 million in cash.
Philips said the acquisition will add more than 100,000 customers to the client base of more than half a million that it acquired with Lifeline Systems, a company Philips bought in 2006. Lifeline Systems and Health Watch provide "medical alert badges" that are mainly used by elderly people who want to stay in their home.
"In case of emergency, the user can press a button and will be connected to an operator that will decide to inform family or call emergency assistance," Philips spokesman Jayson Otke said.
The acquisition of Health Watch will allow the company "to leverage" Lifeline's existing investments in monitoring and service infrastructure "across a larger subscriber base," said Ivo Lurvink, chief executive vice president of Philips' Consumer Healthcare Solutions unit.
Otke also said Philips aims to switch Health Watch users to Lifeline in "a period of about 18 months time."