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Medical data race heats up

Claire Rychlewski
Nov 28, 2022
Illustration of a hundred-dollar bill in the shape of a manila folder.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

ABRY-backed health-data security company CloudWave acquired Sensato Cybersecurity, the company has announced.

Why it matters: With medical records giant Epic inking a partnership with Google Cloud this month, the race to host (and protect) medical data is on.

Details: Terms were not disclosed, but CloudWave CEO Erik Littlejohn says the deal was financed through CloudWave's existing credit line.

  • Sensato founder John Gomez joined CloudWave as chief security and engineering officer.

Flashback: ABRY acquired CloudWave from WestView Partners in 2021. Terms for the deal were not disclosed.

How it works: CloudWave is a cloud EHR hosting provider, managing and protecting patient records data for more than 250 hospitals.

  • Although some of its customers are managed in the public cloud (think Google Cloud and Amazon Web Services), CloudWave also has its OpSus private cloud offering.
  • Sensato's "cybersecurity as a service" platform monitors potential cyberthreats for health care customers.
  • "In the last two years, we've had 30 customers impacted by some sort of ransomware or malware event," Littlejohn says.

Yes, and: Sensato works closely with the FDA, enabling it to offer security monitoring for connected medical devices across hospitals, Littlejohn says.

State of play: While public cloud providers like Google, Microsoft and Amazon continue to make inroads in health care, Littlejohn thinks the future of medical data hosting will be hybrid.

  • "Some workloads are going to make more sense via a customer's data center because of risk factors," he said. "There are use cases where a private cloud makes the most economic sense."

What's next: CloudWave is "actively engaged and looking at [acquisition] opportunities," Littlejohn tells Axios.

  • In a bid to build an end-to-end solution, CloudWave wants to snap up application management and help-desk service providers, he says.
  • Companies with urban and academic medical centers as customers are attractive as CloudWave looks to expand from primarily community hospitals.

What we're watching: CloudWave is in growth mode now, but could it be an eventual target for public cloud providers?

  • "I get asked that a lot," Littlejohn says. "I don't think it'll be directly by one of the public clouds, but it might be somebody doing a lot of work with AWS and GCP that might desire to strengthen capabilities in health care vertically."

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