Cerner moves into Ireland

Cerner, a leading international supplier of healthcare information technology (HIT) solutions, recently announced the opening of a new office in Dublin as it continues to expand its healthcare IT presence in Ireland.

After serving the Republic of Ireland via its London operations for the past three years, this new office serves to strengthen Cerner’s relationships with key clients and enhance its software offerings for the European market by having translation and localization services in Ireland, which is being touted to be a rapidly growing market for advanced healthcare technology, with an increasing focuson improving healthcare at the primary level.

With operations in 18 countries, Cerner has provided healthcare solutions to clients in the United Kingdom for more than 20 years. The company’s entry into the Irish market came in June 2004, when St. James’s Hospital, the Republic of Ireland’s largest teaching hospital, chose Cerner as their healthcare IT partner to implement

an integrated RIS/PACS and Order Communications solution as the first stage of their hospital-wide, patient centric, clinical information solution. Cerner Ireland Ltd. is located at Newenham House in the Northern Cross Business Park, Dublin.

iSOFT in agreement with ML Park (Russia)

iSOFT Deutschland, part of the IBA Health Group – the world’s fourth largest healthcare IT provider will focus on providing modern laboratory software solutions in Russia and has strengthened its position in Russia’s healthcare market after a partnership agreement with ML Park of Moscow to distribute and support iSOFT’s laboratory information systems (LIS).

The market in Russia offers huge potential and is set to grow at unprecedented rates. The Russian market for medical technology is worth US$2 billion a year and is growing by about 15 % per annum. The ‘National Health Programme’, which continues until 2010, provides US$1.7 billion to build 15 specialised health centres.

iSOFT has already installed its LabCentre laboratory system at KDL Test, a private laboratory chain with laboratories in Moscow, Omsk, Perm and Krasnodar. ML Park and KDL Test are sister companies and both are subsidiaries of ML Group.

Core elements of the agreement are the distribution, implementation and support of the iSOFT laboratory solution, LabCentre. LabCentre is a full-graphic integrated system, covering clinical laboratory, blood donation and microbiology.

Wockhardt Hospitals to invest INR 569 cr in growth

Wockhardt Hospitals, associate of Harvard Medical International (HMI) a self supporting not-for-profit subsidiary of Harvard Medical School has chalked out a growth strategy with an investment of INR 5.69 billion in expanding, developing and constructing both greenfield and brownfield expansion plans.

The company plans to leverage growth model with flexible expansion plans. Since 2000, it has grown from three hospitals, with 139 beds, to a network of 10 super-specialty hospitals and five regional speciality ICU hospitals, with a total of 1,374 in-patient beds.

Besides establishing additional healthcare facilities, the company plans to strengthen its presence in cities, such as Bangalore, Mumbai, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Delhi, by expanding the current operations through new greenfield and brownfield projects, as well as increasing beds at existing hospitals.

It is currently expanding bed capacity at Wockhardt Hospital, Mulund (Mumbai) and it intends to add 270 beds in total. The Mulund facility is super-specialty hospital which is one of the first hospitals in South Asia that received international accreditation from Joint Commission International (JCI), the largest accreditor of healthcare organizations in the United States.

The company is pursuing brownfield projects in selected tier II cities, such as Madgaon (Goa), Bhopal, Nashik, Bhavnagar, Ludhiana, Jabalpur, Bhuj, Patna, Hubli and Varanasi.

In most of these cities, it expects to be among the first major private healthcare services providers to commence focused tertiary care operations, which it believes will help it attract patients, recruit better medical personnel and establish benchmarks for care and sustainable operations.

ITC Welcom hotels eye medical tourism

ITC-Welcom Group Hotel, Palaces and Resorts is testing waters for the medical tourism needs of India. Through its subsidiary, Fortune Park Hotels Ltd, the group expects to come up with its first property for the specialised tourism in Thane, near Mumbai.

With the property, the group looks at tapping business potential emerging from the requirement for safe and growing accommodation of patients coming to the country for treatment of various ailments and surgeries.

The hotel is under management-contract and is modeled to suit the growing demand for medical tourism in the country. The 55-60 rooms property is adjacent to a 200-beds Jupiter hospital, located on the Thane highway. The hotel would be internally accessible from the hospital and would also provide wheel-in facility for the patients. It would also address the ccommodation needs of patients as well as their visiting relatives.

According to healthcare industry estimates, the country’s medical tourism opportunity is projected at US$2 billion by 2012.

System C Healthcare acquires Care Records

System C Healthcare, the provider of specialist IT products and services to the healthcare sector, recently announced the acquisition of clinical systems developer Care Records Limited from Huntleigh Healthcare Ltd, one of the UK’s largest medical equipment manufacturers.

Care Records is a developer of leading-edge technology for the design and development of clinical IT systems. It has used this core technology to produce the Eclipse maternity system and a diabetes management system, both extensively installed in UK hospitals.

During 2007, Care Records has sold successfully implemented its products at five hospitals: Bradford Teaching Hospitals Foundation Trust; Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trusts; Royal Shrewsbury Hospitals Foundation Trust; the Nobles Hospital on the Isle of Man and at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.

System C will maintain and extend Care Records’ relationship with Huntleigh Healthcare, and is setting up joint distribution and collaboration agreements with Huntleigh for both the UK and overseas markets. The consideration for the acquisition is �0.85m in cash on completion, with up to a further �2.6m payable in cash over the next 3 financial years dependent on the achievement of demanding performance targets. The consideration is to be funded from System C’s existing resources.

Mayar to open 14 Medispa, invest INR 400 cr in 3 yrs

Diversified business conglomerate Mayar Group intends to set up a chain of medical spa centres in the country with an investment of INR 400 crore in the next three years and is also looking to have an inorganic growth in West Europe through acquisitions.

The company is planning to open 14 such centres through its wholly-owned subsidiary Maya Health Resorts Limited (MHRL) and has opened its first such centre in the national capital with an investment of around INR 30 crore.

The medical spa centre, Medispa, will have ayurvedic massage therapy, aesthetic medical skin care and other holistic beauty treatments to provide a complete health care solution to the customers, the company said.

MHRL is also going to open the first Spa training and awareness academy in the country to provide training in the segment, and is also looking for acquisitions in the Far East Asia and in the West Europe for its global expansions.

Mayar Group is an INR 3,000 crore business house with interests in publications, forests, agriculture products and hospitality. The company would arrange funds for the expansions through debt and by equity partnership.

Apollo, Tenet Health enter pact

Healthcare group Apollo Hospitals has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with US giant Tenet Health. The pact seeks to be an unique exchange programme between the two healthcare majors to learn and share best healthcare practices.

Under the pact, both organisations have agreed to share their best practices in creating and maintaining healthcare delivery systems, through exchange programmes.

The senior management staff will be imparted training and exposed to the quality delivery standards prevailing in the respective entities, said the Apollo Hospitals Group chairman, Prathap C Reddy.

GE acquires Image Diagnost International

GE Healthcare has acquired German based Image Diagnost International, a provider of IT systems used in the diagnosis of breast cancer. Image Diagnost’s software offering will expand its capabilities in breast cancer detection, offering clinicians and national screening services one of the most comprehensive ranges of systems available. Image Diagnost develops integrated software solutions for mammography workflow and image processing, used in over 150 locations across Germany. The company has recently filed for US FDA approval for its Mammo Workstation system.
GE Healthcare believe that as the institutions using their digital mammography increase, customers will use Image Diagnost’s software solutions to facilitate reporting, storage, sharing and transmission of data. Image Diagnost’s head office in Munich, Germany, will now become a GE Healthcare centre of excellence in breast cancer detection software.

Accentia Technologies eyes eight healthcare BPO firms

Accentia Technologies, a healthcare receivables cycle management (HRCM) player, has firmed up measures to buy out as many as eight companies this year. The targeted companies, all players in the healthcare BPO segment, include three foreign (one each in Canada, the US and London) and five Indian firms.

Accentia will also take into its fold the three healthcare firms by March 31 this year. The company would opt for an all-cash deal to complete the acquisitions, having set aside US$ 11 million for three acquisitions.

Accentia, a Bombay Stock Exchange – listed company with headquarters at Thiruvananthapuram, has also kicked-off its GDR on the Singapore bourse. The company employs as many as 2,140 professionals in its offices in Thiruvananthapuram, Bangalore, Mumbai, the US and the UAE.And expects to push up the number to 15,000 by 2011. The company, which has seen its turnover touch INR 130 crore this year, is aiming to touch the INR 250 crore mark over the next nine months.

Siemens plans acquisition of CAS innovations

Siemens Healthcare unveiled plans to strengthen its position in the field of computer-assisted surgery with the acquisition of German operating room system developers, CAS innovations. A deal for an undisclosed fee has been agreed between the two companies, pending approval from antitrust authorities.

CAS innovations manufactures surgical navigation systems which improve planning for operations, while at the same time making them faster and safer. Its primary focus is on systems for trauma surgery and orthopedics, as well as on interventional radiology. With headquarters based in Erlangen, Germany, the company has 27 employees.

Siemens says the deal will help progress work into developing minimally invasive interventions in the operating theatre, allowing to improve the quality of medical care while simultaneously reducing the costs.

CAS systems will provide the doctor with accurate insight into the patient’s anatomy, and using surgical navigation systems, the surgeon can additionally work out on the computer the approximate path that needs to be taken before the operation. During the intervention the system shows the surgeon the position of the operating instruments directly on-screen as well as possible deviations from the previously defined route in the body.

Clinical Research to become INR 10,000 Cr industry by 2010

Clinical Research in India is expected to grow to a INR 10,000 crore industry by 2010 spelling an opportunity of 50,000 jobs within India.

According to the Clinical Research Institute of India, the pharmaceutical industry in India was growing at the rate of 11 per cent and clinical research industry was growing at the rate of 84 per cent. It is also said that the investments by global drug companies in India, have crossed INR 500 crore in 2005-06.

India has emerged as one of the most important hubs in south East Asia for clinical research due to its huge population base, high prence of disease, large pool of talent and cost advantage as compared to competitors.

The regulatory norms here having become more favaourable and with India having caught up with international standards in terms of facilities well trained investigators and abundance of medical professionals, well versed in English language as well as superior communication and IT network, nearly 50 percent of drug development process is being outsourced to India by giant multinationals.

World over the Clinical Research industry has been growing at unprecedent rate while the clinical trial market worldwide is worth over US$ 52 billion. Around INR 70,000 crore is spent globally every year on clinical trials. Globally there are more than 250,000 vacant positions in this industry.

Satyam, Mohawk collaborate for health informatics

Satyam Computer Services Ltd, a leading business and information technology services
provider, will donate more than US$1 million in cash and in-kind services to establish SATYAM Interoperable Electronic Health Records (iEHR) CENTRE at the Mohawk Applied Research Centre for Health Informatics (MARC HI) at Mohawk College in Hamilton.

The centre will help Canada establish universal connectivity and interoperability of electronic health records, bolstered by a robust and advanced patient information exchange standards.

Benefits include reduced waiting periods for medical attention, a decrease in adverse reactions to medication and the ability for healthcare providers to concentrate on patients’ health rather than focusing on extensive paperwork and operational issues.

MARC HI is the world’s first initiative to develop working versions of the new HL7v3 healthcare messaging standards, which are recognized as the industry-leading solution for achieving “semantic interoperability,” the ability of interoperable healthcare systems to fully “understand” a clinical diagnosis or medical order.

The iEHR centre will leverage Satyam’s global presence to be knowledgeable of the recent developments and trends in the healthcare industry across countries, such as the United Kingdom (U.K.). The U.K., one of the earliest adopters of healthcare industry standards to achieve healthcare interoperability, has been working on their system for several years. These programs have had some success, but early attempts have not exploited recent technology advancements, such as service-oriented architecture.

Previous attempts in Canada to achieve interoperability led to the creation of the Canada Health Infoway EHRS Blueprint. Mohawk is taking the blueprint and improving upon it to create a working prototype. Parts of the program are already proving to be successful. In other areas, issues have arisen.

Mohawk is applying the lessons from both successful and unsuccessful projects to pilot the new healthcare messaging system, which, once perfected, can be developed commercially by the university’s partners, including Satyam.

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Related March 2008