Pharma RFID market expected to hit US$ 1 trillion by 2020

The market for Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) applications in pharmaceuticals is conservatively estimated to reach US$ 600 million by 2012 with a compound annual growth rate of 60%, according to a new market research study.

A quarter of the major pharmaceutical companies are expected to implement large-scale RFID projects to reduce costs, improve inventory control, track clinical trials and manage samples, claim the authors of “RFID in Pharmaceutical Manufacturing”, a study by the market research firm Kalorama Information.

Kalorama notes that the total pharmaceutical market is expected to hit US$ 1 trillion by 2020, doubling from 2005 levels. The Food and Drug Administration and state governments are requiring additional product tracking to curb counterfeit drugs and improve patient safety and product integrity. As a result, RFID is positioned to be a top solution to help companies efficiently cope with the changing structure of the industry.

The adoption of RFID is being driven by two important factors: a huge drop in hardware prices (about 80% since 2000) and the promise of major cost-savings. The report states that as much as 40% of inventory can be managed more efficiently.

Siemens unveil new radiology solutions

Siemens Healthcare unveiled a new portal of IT software for radiologists and other hospital personnel who work with imaging staff, known as the syngo Portal.

Siemens has developed three different strands of the system for radiologists, referring physicians and for senior utives. The solutions have been developed to offer role-based access to applications and information critical to their daily functions.

Syngo Portal Radiologist is intended to help radiologists with specific tasks, such as checking requests, reading images, signing report functions. It allows radiologists to organise their work according to the workflow step. It will include integrated intelligence, providing the user with access to the next logical application according to the workflow step he or she is carrying out. For referrals, Syngo Portal Referring Physician is also a role-based solution and supports the referring physician in communication with the radiology department. The portal enables physicians to schedule appointments directly from the ward or referring physician’s office.

Syngo Portal utive is designed especially for utives in hospitals and clinics. The user interface can be individually customised to fit the requirements of the hospital or the radiology department – enabling proactive decision management and better strategic planning.

Panasonic introduces Toughbooks with Intel’s Menlow platform

Panasonic introduced two new Toughbook models recently. These were a mobile clinical assistant (MCA) device purpose-built for the healthcare market and an extremely-rugged handheld ultra mobile PC (UMPC) for field-use.

Both devices will use Intel’s Menlow platform based on its new low-power architecture – consisting of the Silverthorne processor and the Poulsbo chipset.

The new computing devices, which are currently under development, are aimed at healthcare, government, military and commercial applications.

Panasonic claims the MCA is the first of its type in the world to use the Menlow platform. Designed for hand-held use, it is is a lightweight, spill-resistant, drop-tolerant and easily disinfected mobile device, that meets the highest demands for mobility and networking within an existing IT landscape. The MCA will allow wireless connection to hospital IT systems, giving mobile access to patient records and enhancing clinical workflow.

The UMPC is aimed at customers within the PDA/handheld market who have a high demand for extremely-rugged PCs. It will offer a combination of concept, technology and ergonomics designed to give computer and network access to field-based professionals. It is designed for those working in areas such as public safety, healthcare and construction.

ICW to integrate PHRs with iPhone

InterComponentWare (ICW) has announced plans to integrate the Apple iPhone and other smartphones with the Life Sensor personal health record to transmit vital emergency medical information to hospital staff.

Patients who have access to ICW’s web-based LifeSensor system can print out a personal emergency card with a one-time use personal identification number to carry in a wallet or purse. ICW says it is now in discussions to make the information available from the website – – in a format readable by smartphones.

An ICW spokesperson said “The goal of the Life Sensor personal health record is to provide medical history in an online format anytime, anywhere.”

The integration would only work in situations which were not time-sensitive, but if the patient was able to present their records to emergency staff, it would mean they could receive the right treatment immediately, ICW say.

“Many ambulance workers often concentrate on stabilising the patient during transport but they will call in the emergency information to the hospital so that the information about blood type, allergies and pre-existing conditions are ready and waiting when the patient arrives. Having the information immediately will make care for the patient swifter and ensure patient safety” the company said.

Changes in pharma CFOs roles: Ernst & Young survey

A latest Ernst & Young survey of Chief financial officers (CFOs) in the Indian pharmaceutical sector underscores important changes in the role of the CFO and the finance function in driving the success of pharmaceutical companies. Respondents of the India CFO survey envisaged a change in their responsibilities, with an increased focus on serving as business partners and managing growth.

A key challenge in the next three years cited by 42% of all respondents was ‘ability to maintain and drive growth’. To address this challenge, 70% of MNC and one-third of IPC CFOs would like to increase time spent on business partnering – to be a proactive partner in decisions relating to value creation by way of strategy, governance and cost management.

48% overall respondents are seeking an enterprise wide cost reduction. CFOs in both groups cited bottom-line pressure as a key concern here (76% overall). 57% respondents believed supply chain as a focus area for cost reduction; however CFOs of India-headquartered pharmaceutical

companies are more concerned about cutting costs in the supply chain (67%) compared to 44% of MNC CFOs.

Misys Healthcare to merge with Allscripts

Misys, the UK-based IT software group, is to merge its healthcare division with smaller US rival, Allscripts to create a larger specialist provider of clinical software and services for the US primary or ambulatory healthcare market.

In a deal worth almost �500 million, Misys will combine Misys Healthcare with Allscripts to create Allscripts-Misys Healthcare Solutions Inc. Misys will have a 54% controlling stake in the new company, which will be listed on the Nasdaq. Although currently UK-based, the majority of Misys Healthcare’s customers are in the US market.

According to the two firms, the merger will combine Misys Healthcare’s strength in practice management software and Allscripts’ strength in electronic health records.

The number of physicians using electronic health records in the US is growing, with the market expected to grow to about US$ 5 billion by 2015. Under the terms of the deal Mike Lawrie will become utive Chairman of Allscripts-Misys and retain his role as CEO of Misys and Glen Tullman, CEO of Allscripts, will become CEO of Allscripts-Misys. Allscripts is headquartered in Chicago and distributes medications to 40,000 physicians in the US and more than 700 hospitals.

Microsoft renames its enterprise health care software

The new Amalga brand is now the umbrella name for all Microsoft enterprise health care industry software, including products formerly known as Azyxxi and Hospital 2000, which were products Microsoft acquired. Microsoft’s Amalga brand offering spans clinical, operational and financial functions in health care. In addition to its Amalga product line for hospitals and other health care providers, Microsoft entered the consumer health care market with HealthVault, a platform that provides free web-based health-related search and personal health record tools. Amalga helps health care providers access information to make better clinical decisions.

In addition to Microsoft Amalga, another key product under the new Amalga banner is the former Hospital 2000, now renamed Microsoft Amalga Hospital Information System. This integrated health information system is built around an electronic medical record system, and includes software for hospital labs, pharmacies, radiology, pathology, financial accounting, materials management, human resources, and bed management. Microsoft is primarily targeting this software in emerging global markets, such as India and Brazil.

iSOFT enters agreement with Sentillion

IBA Health Group company iSOFT has signed an agreement with US-based Sentillion to become its first healthcare channel partner in Europe for its single sign-on (SSO), context management, and user provisioning solutions. The move coincides with the launch of Sentillion’s UK Channel Partner Program and enables iSOFT to become the first partner to offer its customers the market-leading Vergence SSO/context management suite and Sentillion’s next-generation SSO solution, expreSSO�, which are all developed exclusively for healthcare.

With Sentillion’s SSO/context management solutions, users can quickly authenticate and switch between iSOFT and other clinical applications while retaining patient context. The software also provides fast access and added security and is scalable so it can be installed on a departmental or enterprise-wide basis.

Sentillion’s applications are already proven in the UK at Great Ormond Street Hospital, Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, and City Hospital Sunderland, and proven worldwide at another 560 hospitals.

The affordable, ‘plug-and-go’ expreSSO supports NHS Smartcards to swiftly authenticate to local and national applications. It also speeds the implementation of a trust-wide single sign-on solution. With expreSSO, Sentillion has streamlined the once complex process of introducing single sign-on solutions through innovative technology reducing implementation times to days.

Voice Technologies wins �2m Scottish digital dictation contract

Healthcare digital dictation and speech recognition integration experts Voice Technologies have been selected as the supplier for the National Framework for Scotland by National Services Scotland.

This means implementing these solutions has become significantly easier. Services available for the National Framework do not need to be tendered for, making procurement processes simpler and cheaper.

Voice Technologies were selected above numerous other providers because of their proven track record in deploying successful systems in NHS trusts across Scotland, developing innovative solutions, delivering tangible improvements through their commitment to customisation and extensive customer support.

Digital dictation and speech recognition can deliver significant savings and create efficiencies in healthcare. These technologies are helping medical teams to improve turnaround times, become more efficient, reduce costs and, as a consequence, get results to patients sooner.

This contract has a projected value of over �2 million, and competing against international firms to keep this contract in Scotland has assured us of one thing: that our innovative solutions will help bring about reductions in waiting times and helping patients to get their results sooner.”

Suven Life ties up with US-based Eli Lilly
Pharmaceutical firm Suven Life Sciences has signed an agreement with US-based Eli Lilly to collaborate on the pre-clinical research of molecules used in the treatment of Central Nervous System(CNS) disorders.

Suven will receive research funding as well as potential discovery and development payments of up to US$ 23 million per candidate plus royalties on net sales of products that may be commercialised from the collaboration. Earlier in 2006, the company had signed a similar agreement with the US-based pharmaceutical firm for CNS disorder.

Under the agreement, Suven was to receive payments from Lilly and also potentially downstream payments if the identified candidates are selected by Lilly for further pre-clinical research and development, the company had said.

Lifeline Group of Hospitals signs MoU with Zambian govt

India’s Lifeline Group of Hospitals has signed an MoU with the Government of Zambia to set up a 100-bed medical facility at Lusaka, Zambia at an initial investment of INR 40 crore. Group Chairman Dr Rajkumar told reporters that Lifeline would also provide surgical expertise to Zambia and train medical personnel to equip them on the latest medical treatments and procedures.

As per the MoU, the Zambian Government would provide five-acres of land and building for the proposed facility, which was expected to commence operations in nine months. He said the hospital would have a team of 300 medical personnel, of which 80% would be from the Lifeline team and the rest to be recruited locally. Besides providing treatment at an affordable fee, the Hospital would also offer 10% of major procedures free of cost, he added.

Parkway to expand in Malaysia

Singapore’s Parkway Holdings Ltd., which both manages and has a stake in the Pantai Hospital Group, may buy rivals or grow existing hospitals to expand in Malaysia.

Parkway, a leading healthcare group in Asia owning a network of hospitals and medical centres around the region, also has two Gleneagles hospitals in Malaysia under its ambit.

In fact, Gleneagles Penang is building another hospital, to be completed in 2011, which will add 230 beds, Parkway said at the presentation of its 2007 financial results. Gleneagles Kuala Lumpur will add 30 beds, while Pantai Ayer Keroh will expand to accommodate more clinics. Pantai Batu Pahat will have more beds on its fifth floor.

Parkway, through its stake and management contract, currently operates eight Pantai Hospitals, Gleneagles Medical Centre, Penang, and Gleneagles Intan Kuala Lumpur. In the fourth quarter of 2006, Parkway restructured its interest in Pantai. Pantai ceased to be a subsidiary and became a joint-venture company.

Shalby Hospitals in INR 450 cr spread

The tax holidays offered in the Union Budget for the healthcare sector has prompted Ahmedabad-based Shalby Hospitals to check into various newer destinations for setting up multi-speciality hospitals. Shalby has chalked out plans to add about 1,500 beds in the next five years for an estimated investment of INR 450 crore.

“As per the tax holidays offered in various tier 2 cities of India, we aim to enter Mehsana first followed by Nadiad and Surat. These will be 150-200 bed hospitals,” said Vikram Shah, chairman of Shalby Hospitals. Shalby has set up a 200-bed multi-speciality hospital on the SG Highway with a built-up area of 1,80,000 sft. The company aims to fund its expansion plans through debt. It has been registering a compound annual growth rate of 60 per cent. Shalby has invested close to INR 100 crore in its facility on the SG Highway. “We have chalked out our growth plans and as of now do not intend to dilute our equity,” he added.

Apollo Hospitals to invest INR 100 mn in R&D wing

Apollo Hospitals group will soon be branching out a separate R&D wing. The group aims to form a full circle in the healthcare segment by forming a separate R&D wing, which is expected to have collaborations with premier global research organizations including the US-based National Institutes of Health (NIH). The group will be setting aside about INR 100 million from its revenues, to be pumped into the R&D wing. Besides, the group will build up a team with scientists from the US and India to focus primarily on cardiac-related diseases initially.

The group has over nine centers of excellence and the centre for cardiology and cardio thoracic surgery, is claimed to be the largest cardiovascular groups in the world. The group is also planning to have collaborations with the US-based NIH and a decision towards this is expected soon.

Mindray to acquire Datascope’s Patient Monitoring business

Mindray Medical International Ltd. has announced a definitive agreement to acquire Datascope Corp.’s patient monitoring business. The company plans to continue Datascope’s existing branded product lines. The existing management team is anticipated to continue post-closing without major changes in addition to the rest of the patient monitoring division staff.

Referring to the agreement, Mr. Xu Hang, Chairman, Mindray, said, “Datascope customers should also benefit from the combined company’s expanded product lineup and enhanced ability to tailor product functionality for specific end-user requirements, and Mindray’s customers in the United States and Europe will enjoy the support of an established direct sales and service network.”

TietoEnator wins Swedish national electronic healthcare record contract with InterSystems

InterSystems Corporation announced that the Swedish national electronic health record, known as the National Patient Overview (NPO) will be supplied by TietoEnator using InterSystems HealthShare� software. The contract is valued at approximately US$ 19 million for the first 5 years, with an option to extend for an additional 2 years.

The NPO is designed to enable the sharing of patient information between regional and local care providers in both the public and private sectors.

InterSystems HealthShare is a health information network platform that plays an important role in the project as the core software with which the NPO will be delivered. The solution should be ready for production within 12 months.

HealthShare is a comprehensive solution for aggregating and sharing clinical data across multiple organisations. This enables the creation of a summary view of a patient’s medical record on a regional or national basis. It has the flexibility to support a variety of architectures and includes a rapid development and customisation environment. The healthcare market is characterised by valuable existing systems that medical professionals are accustomed to using. HealthShare allows customers to retain these systems and transform them into connected regional or national solutions.

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Related May 2008