June 2008


Medtronic to surf Europes ‘wave of telemedicine’

The US-medical device manufacturer Medtronic is planning to extend its presence as a telemedicine provider in Europe.

CareLink was introduced in Europe in 2007, but so far in pilot projects only. This will change in 2008, according to Medtronic’s CEO Bill Hawkins.

He said 2008 will be the year for Medtronic to get into Europe with its telemedicine solutions on a bigger scale. At the heart of the company’s telemedicine initiative is the CareLink platform, an internet-based solution for remote medical device monitoring and remote patient monitoring. CareLink has been available in the US since 2004. The platform is currently used for the remote monitoring of patients with implantable defibrillators (ICD) or pacemakers, and for web-based continuous blood glucose-monitoring.

The new product line-up includes new generation ICD – and pacemaker systems that are capable of wireless data transfer without the need of an antenna to collect the data. The devices will also have an automatic alert function for pulmonary oedema, which Medtronic refers to as ‘OptiVol’. It measures electrical currents in the thorax and generates an e-mail or short message-alert for the physician in case a pulmonary oedema is developing in the patient.

Computer Sciences Corp forms healthcare unit

Computer Sciences Corp. has launched a new business unit dedicated to healthcare. CSC’s Healthcare Sector will focus on the information and service needs of healthcare providers, health plans, pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers and allied industries globally. Deward Watts, who has been with CSC for 12 years, will serve as president of the new unit.

“Organizing CSC’s global healthcare resources into a single vertical organization better positions CSC to help our clients use information to transform healthcare,” said Watts. “Our main focus will be delivering IT-based innovation that improves patient outcomes and the decision making of providers, payers and life sciences organisations. “

The Healthcare Sector will leverage core intellectual property to help clients innovate new or enhanced clinical and business processes, including processes related to supply chain management, revenue cycle management, claims processing, document management and clinical trial management, CSC officials said. In addition, application management services and business process outsourcing are supported by CSC’s healthcare centres in Bangalore and Chennai, India.

The company said the new unit will be bolstered by CSC’s acquisition last year of First Consulting Group, a healthcare IT consulting company, and also by the acquisition of Covansys, which adds offshore domain expertise and an additional market channel.

GE Healthcare in joint venture

GE Healthcare, the US$ 17 billion (Dh62.3bn) healthcare business of General Electric Company (GE), has announced the formation of a joint venture, GE El Seif Healthcare Arabia.

The new company, which has a 51:49% ownership between GE and El Seif Development, will drive the sale of GE Healthcare’s products in Saudi Arabia. GE Healthcare has been operating in Saudi Arabia for more than 25 years and together with strategic partner El Seif Development Company it has been making the latest innovations available to healthcare providers in the country.

GE El Seif Healthcare Arabia will bring GE Healthcare’s extensive portfolio ranging from innovative diagnostic and imaging equipment, patient monitoring and data systems to network storage systems and software for healthcare professionals across Saudi Arabia.

It will also complement the earlier joint venture between GE and El Seif Medical Services, demonstrating the commitment of both companies to transform the healthcare delivery in the Kingdom.

“GE believes in strong ties such as the one we have with our partner El Seif Development,” said Richard Di Benedetto, President and CEO of GE Healthcare, International – EAGM region.

Apollo DKV health insurance in ties with InsuranceMall

Apollo DKV Insurance recently announced its tie-up with Bonsai Insurance Broking Pvt. Ltd., a leading Insurance Broker in the General Insurance segment for online insurance shopping through its website www.Insurancemall.in. The tie-up would offer customers a comprehensive solution for purchasing health insurance products over the internet.

This tie-up is yet another step towards offering unparalleled product range and value to its customers. The company plans to have a national presence across 25 cities by the second year of operations and spread to over 100 locations by 2010.

The tie-up will provide the common man with indigenously developed ‘quote-engines’ to compare, choose and buy Insurance online. The website also offers complete portfolio management (renewal auto-reminders to advisory) and claims assistance on policies purchased. The site also endeavours to give the common insurance buyer complete power of information and decision making.

Tatanet grabs contract from TCIL for telemedicine

Tatanet, a division of NELCO Ltd., has announced that it has received a multi-million dollar order for supply of Satcom equipment from Telecommunications Consultants India Limited (TCIL) for a e-Network project providing telemedicine.

TCIL is implementing a multi-million dollar pan-African e-Network project on turnkey basis, funded by the Ministry of External Affairs. The network will provide telemedicine and tele-education services to 53 countries of African Union and VVIP connectivity (VoIP and Video Conferencing) among the heads of states.

Tatanet would build a satellite hub station with a full-fledged Data Centre at Dakar, Senegal and a studio in India along with other facilities to connect seven Indian University Centers, including IGNOU, to cater the student communities in Africa.

The network will also have 12 super speciality hospitals in India to provide tele-consultation and Continuing Medical Education (CME) services.

“This project has many firsts and provides us the platform to showcase our skills in the field of System Integration and Satcom project. We are confident of our ability to deliver a robust network, which will be a benchmark for such initiatives in the future,” said Kaushik Mandal, vice president – Sales (Enterprise & Turnkey Projects) and Program Management, Tatanet.

Global healthcare IT firm enters Pune

US-based healthcare information technology services firm Eclipsys has set up its second India unit in Pune to support its cleint base in Europe, US and Australia.

With a headcount of more than 25 in Pune, the company will provide integrated softwares, advanced clinical content and professional services to hospitals, research institutes and related establishments located in US and Europe to a large extent.

Eclipsys CEO Andrew Eckert said, the company has set up its fully functional unit inside a notified special economic zone (SEZ) in Kharadi, Pune. With 13 development centres spread across the globe, the company has invested INR 45 crore as capital investment for its Pune unit. “Service sector in India is growing at the fastest possible rate. The same is accompanied by availability of skilled manpower in medicine and techincal aspects. This has made us focus on India for research and development activities along with services,” said Eckert.Eclipsys India President Nitin Deshpande said the company would recurit technicians and medicine professionals from local market only. `”While more and more hospitals and clinical establishments are now depending on information systems, software development and services support in this sector is all set to grow. India is being looked as one of most important and efficient service provider on global perspective. Eclipsys India will address the global needs through IT support in healthcare sector,” Deshpande stated.

EMIS in JV with Ireland’s Helix Health

EMIS has announced a joint venture agreement with Ireland’s largest healthcare IT provider, Helix Health Ltd. The agreement sees the two companies selling each other’s products in their respective market areas.

The new EMIS Dental system, as well as software components for primary care will become available in Ireland through the Helix sales and support network, while Helix will gain access to EMIS’ sales and support network to distribute and support its QicScript range of pharmacy management software applications across the UK.

Both companies will gain access to each other’s research and development expertise, in addition to software knowledge. They will also localise their products for each marketplace, incorporating features and functionality that will benefit their respective customers.
Sean Riddell, EMIS’ Healthcare Managing Director comments: “The joint venture gives us the opportunity to extend our product offering into new markets, as well as working closely with Helix to bring benefits to our respective customers at a local level.”

New Intel software connects health networks better

Intel Corporation announced Intel� SOA Expressway for Healthcare, software that provides an efficient way to exchange healthcare information inside hospitals and with health information networks. The product will allow healthcare providers to connect more easily with one another so that each can provide better care while benefiting from reduced integration costs. Based on Service Oriented Architecture (SOA), Intel SOA Expressway for Healthcare offers a cost-efficient solution to this problem by providing an efficient and scaleable way to translate, process and connect any data format across a healthcare network.

In addition, Intel has created a group of validated independent software vendors (ISVs) that provides best-of-breed capabilities to deploy a complete health network powered by the Intel SOA Expressway. The validated ecosystem helps complete next-generation SOA architecture for healthcare data interoperability.

Intel SOA Expressway for Healthcare provides the performance of a hardware appliance in a software form factor that offers native message acceleration for rapid data exchange, workflow management and translation to enable data exchange to and from any original format. In order to make Intel SOA Expressway for Healthcare as versatile as possible, Intel designed it as a flexible product offering that can stand alone as the gateway to and from a community health information network or can be bundled as part of an ISV solution.

British health insurer set to foray into India

Britain’s largest private health insurer, British United Provident Association (BUPA) is set to enter India to cash in on the booming healthcare services demand, driven by rapidly rising population and growing affluence.

The UK healthcare giant is said to have teamed up with Max New York Life for its foray into the country, and plans to plough some of the �1.44 billion raised from the sale of 25 of its UK hospitals last year, sources said.

BUPA is already present in 190 countries and has over 8 million members in Hong Kong, Thailand, Australia. It recently opened an office in China. Last year the company earned revenues of �3.8 billion from insurance in the UK alone and �2.3 billion from international insurance. BUPA has bases in three continents and operates over 300 care homes spread across the UK.

To this end, BUPA had teamed up with Mumbai-based Wockhardt Hospitals over five years ago. Wockhardt is on BUPA’s emergency international network of participating hospitals.

With less than 10% of the population covered by medical insurance, the Indian government has taken up the noble cause to provide the same to the country’s 300 million poor, most of whom work in the unorganised sector and are thus deprived of quality healthcare.

Atos Origin awarded Gematik contract

International IT services provider Atos Origin has signed a 5-year contract with the Gesellschaft f�r Telematikanwendungen der Gesundheitskarte mbH (gematik) for the implementation of the German electronic health card.

Atos Origin will be in charge of the design and implementation of the Directory Service in the IT infrastructure, and will be responsible for the organisation of the service rights in the eHealth card central IT network.

The electronic health card will extensively simplify the administration of medical data in Germany, thus reducing costs in the healthcare system. It enables a simple and secure exchange of important data between insured persons, doctors, pharmacies and insurance companies.

With the contract for the implementation of the Directory Service, Atos Origin now extends its commitment that began in December 2007 with the acceptance of the bid for the installation of two central elements of the infrastructure � the Time Service and the Name Service.

The Time Service synchronises the time settings of all central and distributed hardware and software components. The Name Service handles the conversion of domain names to IP addresses so that the assignment of the name to the storage location will be possible.

Novartis in record Swiss deal

Pharmaceuticals company Novartis is acquiring a potential $39bn (25bn) stake in eye care group Alcon in what could be the biggest Swiss acquisition of a US company if the (optional) second stage of the deal goes through.

In the first stage of the deal, Novartis has agreed to a 25% stake on Alcon from Swiss food group Nestl� for US$ 11bn in the second half of this year.

Goldman Sachs advised Novartis, while Nestl� was advised by Credit Suisse. Cravath, Swaine & Moore was legal advisor to Nestl�. Alcon was acquired by Nestl� in 1978, and Credit Suisse, alongside Merrill Lynch, led Alcon’s initial public offering when it was partially spun off in 2002 on the New York Stock Exchange.
Credit Suisse and Lazard also advised Nestl� last year on its US$ 5.5bn acquisition of Gerber, the baby food business from Novartis, which was advised by Goldman Sachs. Gordon Dyal, who runs the Goldman’s global M&A business has a strong relationship with Novartis.

Novartis said it intends to finance the purchase of the 25% Alcon stake in the first step from internal cash reserves and external short-term financing, with borrowing needs currently estimated at US$ 5.5bn.

If the deal increases to US$ 39bn, it will be the second largest cross-border health care M&A deal on record, according to Dealogic.

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.

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.

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.

IBA wins �5 million deal with General Healthcare Group

Australia’s largest listed health information technology company announced that the largest provider of independent healthcare services in the UK, General Healthcare Group (GHG) has appointed iSOFT as a strategic health information technology partner. Further, GHG will license and implement iSOFT’s patient management systems at its 47 BMI Healthcare private acute care hospitals and its Netcare centres in a deal worth �5 million over six years.

Additional services will be provided over the life of the agreement for development, implementation and deployment services. The agreement also provides the framework for licensing and implementation of additional iSOFT products. The agreement provides a strategic framework for GHG and iSOFT to work closely together as iSOFT makes available its “next generation” of products. In addition, GHG has appointed iSOFT as its preferred supplier for clinical IT systems, to include order communications and results reporting as well as other systems to support its highly successful and growing business. iSOFT will be working closely with GHG as a partner to ensure fast-track deployment of these critical business solutions.

As the largest provider of independent healthcare services in the UK, GHG is upgrading to iSOFT’s iPM Patient Administration System as part of its overhaul of IT systems and infrastructure. The GHG group will implement iPM across its national network of BMI Healthcare hospitals as well as its Netcare centres, integrating patient management, billing and back-office functionality within a single suite of software.

iPM will streamline the current patient administration processes, reduce dependence on paper records and include core theatre and billing data into a single electronic record. This repository of information will form the basis of a patient’s “Electronic Health Record” for the GHG network of facilities. GHG includes BMI Healthcare, the largest independent provider of acute surgical services in the UK.

European firm buys Dabur for INR 880 cr

Dabur is exiting the pharma business. The Burman family, promoters of FMCG major Dabur, has sold the oncology drug manufacturing company – Dabur Pharma – to European healthcare major Fresenius SE for about INR 880 crore.

The Burmans, along with some key stakeholders, have agreed to sell their 73.27% stake at a price of INR 76.50 per share, a 10%s premium over the current market price. The deal values Dabur Pharma at INR 1198.75 crore.

Dabur Pharma is one of the leading players in the field of oncology in India and is among the top generic oncology companies in various markets, including in Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia and India.

Besides being present in more than 40 countries, the company has a strong base in the US. It has a substantial market share in Paclitaxel and Irinotecan injections used in the treatment of rectum cancer. Dabur has 12 generic drugs pending for approval in the US market. It has already received four approvals.

“Dabur is an FMCG company and the move of the Burmans to exit from the pharma business is aimed at focussing on the high investment intensive FMCG business,” said Sujay Shetty, associate director of PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Karishma Software wins IBM Global Public Sector Top Star award for 2008

Karishma Software Ltd. is a winner of IBM Global Public Sector Top Star award for 2008, announced recently. The Indian company is one of five Business Partners recognized with this prestigious award by the Global Healthcare and Life Sciences industry. IBM’s Public Sector channel sales teams and industry utives selected business partners from government, education and healthcare/life sciences who consistently demonstrate the “Best of the Best” qualities that help to ensure a successful partnership with IBM, as well as success in the marketplace. These qualities are – unique, innovative solution; a significant win in 2007 that has been or can be replicated; loyalty to IBM; strong adoption of IBM platforms and open architecture; strategic commitment to partnership with IBM; significant involvement and help in closing strategic deals.

Karishma Software, a major player in the healthcare IT field, delivers solutions for Hospital Information System, Telemedicine, Clinic Management System and Decision Support System across seven countries. It has over 200 healthcare organisations as its clients. Karishma’s healthcare systems manage over 20,000 beds in over 60 hospitals including Hospitals such as Jaslok, Jupiter, St. Stephen’s, St. Ann’s, Muhimbili National Hospital, Ruby Hall and Image Hospital.

Commenting on the occasion R Guru Moorthy, utive Director, Karishma Software said “Our focus in healthcare IT has made significant difference in the way IT systems are being used in the hospitals and clinics across seven countries. We believe our patient-centric EMR strategy with focus on clinician’s documentation will evolve into innovative business processes.”

Other Healthcare/Life Sciences Top Stars were: BlueWare, Inc., Vocera Communications, Inc., Carefx Corporation, Cerner Corporation and Karishma Software, Ltd.

Trivitron’s Med Tech Park ready to commence construction

Trivitron group of companies, one of India’s largest medical technology companies laid the foundation stone for the construction of their much-awaited Medical Technology Park at the SIPCOT Industrial Park, Irungattukottai, Sriperambadur adjacent to Hyundai Car factory. The Medical Technology Park is first of its kind initiative in India and will be having collaborations with the world-renowned medical technology companies.

Trivitron has signed three Joint Ventures with Aloka from Japan, Biosystems of Spain, and Brandon Medical a UK based company to manufacture Black and White Ultrasound Systems and Colour Dopplers, Wide Range of Diagnostics Reagents and Shadowless High End Operating Theatre Lights. The Trivitron’s Medical Technology Park (TMTP) is spread over an area of 23 acres and will see an investment of over INR 250 Crores in the first phase of the project. Trivitron plans to invest INR 170 Crores in the project and the remaining 80 crores will be raised through various joint ventures. The upcoming facility will be built on par with international manufacturing standards and the layout abides the FDA and CE norms. Trivitron is also exploring the option of converting the park into SEZ after acquiring another 2-acre land in the same location.
Trivitron will focus on manufacturing of medical equipments in the areas of Critical Care, Cardiac Care, Imaging and routine labortaory diagnostics. For the initial phase, it will manufacture products with the support of its in-house technology and R& D department which would include products like X Ray Machines, C arm, ECG Machines, Stress Test Systems and Holter Monitors, Syringe and Infusion Pumps, Haematology Reagents, Haemodialysis Concentrates etc. All products manufactured in the TMTP will be CE and US FDA approved and will be sold in all the emerging markets across the world apart from India.

“Our aim is to position India as an alternate viable low cost manufacturing hub in the global manufacturing map of medical technology products.” said Dr. G S K Velu, Managing Director, of Trivitron group of companies. The products manufactured in MTP will be priced 30 to 50% less than the current MRP” Initially, Trivitron will use 15 acres of land for manufacturing its products through Technology transfer arrangements and remaining 10 acres will be allotted to its JV Companies.

IBA Health’s eHealth Network growing

IBA Health Group Limited – Australia’s largest listed health information technology company has announced two new Australian private health insurance funds, HBF and GMF Health funds will connect to its expanding eHealth network for real-time, point-of-care electronic health claiming and payment services.

With more than 900,000 members, HBF is the leading provider of health insurance in Western Australia. Also based in Western Australia, GMF Health provides health insurance to more than 60,000 members across Australia.

IBA now has agreements with 30 health funds, which collectively represent 98% of privately health insured Australians. Privately insured Australians can settle their accounts on the spot with their health insurer and health care professional through connectivity to IBA’s HealthPoint claiming service. HealthPoint gives healthcare professionals and their patients an efficient, easy-to-use single point solution for EFTPOS, patient claims to health funds and, where appropriate, Medicare claims. By automating and streamlining the entire health claim and payment process, IBA’s solutions are enabling health fund insurers to lower costs while providing more efficient and effective services to their members. Both HBF and GMF are expected to go live with IBA’s HealthPoint service from August/September this year with claiming for optometrists, dentists, chiropractors and physiotherapists.

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