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Orion Health starts $9.6m health IT project

Media information: 21 August 2008

Orion Health starts $9.6m health IT project

Health technology company Orion Health has just received $4.78m in funding from Technology New Zealand, forming part of a $9.6m project which will fast-track its development of a revolutionary health IT product, expand its business into new sectors in this market and double its New Zealand-based development staff numbers.

Ian McCrae, Orion Health CEO, likened the company's progress to that of Olympic rowing: "just like rowing races, this industry is all about momentum. If we can get going, it just carries on and this significant influx of funding gives us a massive boost in momentum."

Mr McCrae says this should play a strong part in the company's goal of being New Zealand's first $100m software company in the next few years.

He said work had already begun on the two-year project to develop a highly modularised Health Information System. The component system uses modules to create highly complex applications and he believes Orion Health can use this Lego-like building block approach to be at the forefront of a new logic-complex technology which historically has been difficult to achieve.

"We are throwing all our resources behind this as it's crucial to get to market quickly. The process itself is commercially sensitive but the outcome will be a completely new way of putting health IT software together to meet a wide variety of needs."

Mr McCrae said large hospitals typically are being swamped with isolated islands of information from as many as 500 - 1,000 different, stand-alone software products. All have different parts of information relating to a patient or activity.

Orion Health aims to develop a common functionality that will allow this information to be easily shared, minimising errors and adding to the overall efficiency and workflow of a health organisation.

"We are working right at the edge with technologies that are very new; so new in fact that Orion Health is developing some of these as we go and it opens up other possibilities that these in turn may become available to other companies."

Joseph Stuart, Technology New Zealand business manager said: "We have made this investment because it will enable Orion Health to move to market quicker with a bigger and better product. This should lead to the company achieving the international growth it is seeking and reinforce its position as New Zealand's leading software exporter."

Orion Health's existing clinical systems products help hospitals and doctors streamline patient information and data exchange across hospitals, clinics and countries. The new product will expand the company's product suite both across existing areas as well as opening doors into new markets; the $9.6m project fast-tracked by the $4.78m funding.

Orion Health is also poised to double its development staff to around 240, based primarily in Auckland.

The company plans to grow its Wellington development studio and is considering setting up an additional development function in Christchurch.

"We are actively looking for graduate developers through to experienced development managers," said Ian McCrae.

"Our international offices and markets are a great springboard for people wanting to work overseas, and we are putting a lot of emphasis on making Orion Health a fun place to work here in New Zealand, with company breakfasts, innovation days and active encouragement for staff to follow their personal goals outside work."

Orion Health is New Zealand's largest locally-owned software exporter and has won a slew of awards internationally and in New Zealand, where it was named last week as Auckland exporter of the year.


About Orion Health:

Orion Health is a leading provider of clinical workflow and integration technology for the healthcare sector.

Orion Health's clinical information software meets the information needs of clinical staff and healthcare managers, delivering secure, universal access to healthcare information and helping healthcare

providers proactively manage and coordinate patient care across the community.

Orion Health's integration and messaging products streamline the exchange of healthcare data within organizations and between business partners.


Orion Health was founded in Auckland, New Zealand in 1993, with 5 employees. Since its inception, Orion Health has experienced rapid growth, and today more than 200 employees supply technology and services to 1,000 clients in 20 countries.

Orion Health has offices in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand.

Customers & Partners

Orion Health contributes to integration and clinical workflow projects across the globe for clients including Abbott Laboratories, New York State Department of Health, Capital Health, New South Wales Health, and the New Zealand Ministry of Health.

Orion Health's client community reflects the range of services provided by the healthcare industry throughout the world, and encompasses hospitals, regional and national health authorities, insurance clearinghouses, health IT vendors and research institutions.

Orion Health's growing network of partners includes leaders in technology and services such as Oracle Corporation, LogicaCMG, Sierra Systems, Philips Medical Systems and Hewlett-Packard.

Awards & Recognition


Air NZ Cargo Auckland Export Awards - The Mondiale Freight Services Exporter of the Year

Healthcare Informatics Top 100 - ranked 70th


ANZ Export Awards - Auckland Exporter of the Year

NZ Hi-Tech Awards - Finalist: Corporate Award

Healthcare Informatics Top 100 - ranked 77th


HITTA - Healthcare Transformation Company of the Year

TUANZ Innovation Award for Healthcare 2006 - National Immunisation Register

ACHS Quality Improvements Awards 2006 - Peninsula Health


2005 Victorian Public Healthcare Awards: Winner, Innovation in Information Technology (Peninsula Health)

2005 Health IT Effectiveness Awards - Best use of I.T. in integrating healthcare and social care - Finalist

NZ American Chamber of Commerce Awards - Winner: Exporter of the Year to the USA, Services and Technology

NZ American Chamber of Commerce Awards - Winner: AmCham Supreme Award

Healthcare Informatics Top 100 - Orion Systems International ranked 98th, third fastest growing health technology firm on the list.

Rhapsody Is Ranked the top Interface Engines Vendor in KLAS' 2004 Year-End Top 20 Report


TUANZ Innovation Award for Healthcare 2004

NZ American Chamber of Commerce Awards - Finalist: Exporter of the Year to the USA, Services and Technology

Visit for more awards

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