Philips announced this past week that it will acquire BioTelemetry, a provider of remote cardiac diagnostics and monitoring, for $2.8 billion.

The transaction is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2021.

The Pennsylvania-based BioTelemetry provides remote cardiac monitoring, centralized core laboratory services for clinical trials, remote blood glucose monitoring and original equipment manufacturing for healthcare and clinical research customers.

“The acquisition of BioTelemetry fits perfectly with our strategy to be a leading provider of patient care management solutions for the hospital and the home,” said Frans van Houten, CEO of Philips, in a statement.

“BioTelemetry’s leadership in the large and fast growing ambulatory cardiac diagnostics and monitoring market complements our leading position in the hospital. Leveraging our collective expertise, we will be in an optimal position to improve patient care across care settings for multiple diseases and medical conditions,” van Houten continued.

The bulk of BioTelemetry’s work is on the diagnosis and monitoring of heart rhythm disorders, including wearable heart monitors that detect and transmit abnormal heart rhythms and AI-based analytics.

BioTelemetry says it monitors 1.2 million patients a year, with 40,000 sensors shipped each month.

According to the company’s website, the software integrates into a provider’s electronic health record, allowing for electronic, HIPAA-compliant patient reports to be transferred into an EHR system.

BioTelemetry’s technology was also used in a New England Journal of Medicine study about the efficacy of smartwatches for identifying atrial fibrillation.

“We are delighted to become part of Philips and continue on our journey to deliver health information to improve the quality of life and reduce the cost of care,” said BioTelemetry President and CEO Joseph H. Capper in a statement.

The COVID-19 crisis has pushed the utility of remote patient monitoring into the spotlight, including for chronic health conditions. BioTelemetry is among a number of vendors offering wearable tools to diagnose arrhythmia, which requires timely, accurate ECG analysis.

Despite the possible danger of arrhythmia, many patients may not even know they have it – potentially leading to strokes and other heart issues.