Corporate Updates

European firms sign global e-health deals

Two large European e-health suppliers have announced new deals to conduct healthcare work internationally, in the last month. Netherlands based Gemalto and Belgium-based Agfa HealthCare will be undertaking large projects in Algeria, Azerbaijan and Canada respectively. Gemalto has begun rolling out a two-year e-health project in Algeria (CNAS), consisting of 7 million smartcards, known as Chifa, in five regions of the north African country, to be used by healthcare beneficiaries and providers. The aim is for hospitals and other healthcare institutions to manage patient records securely and to verify patient benefits, whilst keeping the data secure. The Chifa is intended to simplify administration by removing paperwork from submission claims to the authorities. Boualem Touati, IT director at CNAS, said: “The pilot phase proved that the entire system works from one end of the chain to the other. Healthcare beneficiaries, doctors, pharmacists, healthcare organisations, such as social security agencies, can already reap the benefit of the solution implemented with Gemalto. “For instance, claim reimbursement times have been cut from 30 to five days, and the complete modernisation of CNAS’ processing chain will pave the way for a major reduction in operating costs.” Gemalto has also been chosen as a prime contractor for the National E-Health Programme in Azerbaijan. They will supply 3 million microprocessor-based smartcards to the continue, with the project expected to last two years. Jacques Seneca, utive vice president of Gemalto’s security business unit, said: “These deals represent a large-scale project with a very tight deadline. Following a highly successful pilot phase, Gemalto’s teams remain mobilised, ready to see the projects through to completion and to support these nations with future developments in their programmes.” In Canada, Agfa HealthCare has been awarded a contract to deliver a Diagnostic Imaging Repository (DI-r) to New Brunswick, one of Canada’s provinces. The project is part of the province’s One Patient One Record e-health strategy, and will provide the infrastructure and functionality required to capture, store, view and link patient information for its 740,000 residents. Agfa HealthCare will create the DI-r based on its IMPAX DataCenterconcept radiology information system software, for consolidating images and radiology reports into a central system. The data can be retained for the lifetime of a patient, and staff can use a secure login to access the information regardless of where it was acquired. The project aims to help clinicians make informed decisions about care, as well as reducing costs for healthcare facilities, such as those due to repeat imaging procedures caused by lost paper files. “The drive toward the implementation of the One Patient One Record system shows that New Brunswick is a true Canadian e-health leader,” said Michael Green, president and CEO of Agfa HealthCare Canada.

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