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Symphonia Software Strikes The Right Note

MEDIA RELEASE

2 March 2001

SYMPHONIA SOFTWARE STRIKES THE RIGHT NOTE

Overseas hospitals and medical groups could find they are all talking the same language, thanks to innovative New Zealand messaging software. A unique message mapper looks set to solve the problem of communications between hospital information systems with different computer formats. Its software can map from any format to virtually any other format in minutes, translating and transporting data between systems; for example mapping XML to HL7. The brains behind the Kiwi invention, recently launched at a healthcare convention in the USA, is Auckland-based Orion Systems NZ. With funding assistance of around $370,000 from Technology New Zealand and research power from the University of Auckland, the company has developed a modern day answer to problems as old as the Tower of Babel. The mapper is unusual in that it is fast, highly accurate and very easy to use, according to Orion marketing director Jonathan Gunson. “We realised there were some big holes in existing program processes where everyone had done their own thing. What it meant, in simple terms, was that a hospital admitting department, for instance, might be working on a different software format to the radiology department, which in turn might be different again to the tests laboratory.” The health software specialist company knew it was missing out on sales because its products lacked mapping functionality. Its research also showed there was a big demand for a messaging engine that could be used by everyone, fitting seamlessly onto existing systems. ”The University of Auckland Computer Sciences department, came up with a number of possible solutions to the problem in an amazingly short time,” says Gunson. “We could never have allocated the time to research and resolve the problems solely on our own, and Technology New Zealand’s investment meant we were able to put the project on the fast track, which is critical when you’re dealing with a rapidly-changing market.” Despite the early development costs, Orion expects sales to surpass the $370,000 Technology New Zealand funding in less than six months. Orion has developed Symphonia Message Mapper solely for export, particularly to the large and lucrative US medical market. However, its ability to make sense out of communications chaos means it has potential use in other organisations such as power companies or financial organisations; anywhere where there are disparate computer systems and the need to exchange and store information. The 8 year old company, which employs 80 people, is exploring markets in Asia and believes Symphonia could be orchestrating success in the UK and Europe in the medium term. -ends- For more information:

**Jonathan Gunson, Orion Systems NZ Ltd, 09 357 6326, email jonathan.gunson@orion.co.nz

** Nigel Metge, Foundation for Research, Science and Technology ( Auckland office), 09 912 6733, 021 454 095, www.technz.co.nz

Notes for Editors:

1. Symphonia Message Mapper' released at the HIMSS (Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society) Convention - New Orleans, USA February 5. 2. The 'message mapper' solves the problem of communications between hospital> information systems with different formats. The 'mapper' can map from any format to virtually any other format. It provides complex mapping in minutes, with translation and transport of data between systems. 3. Programming time is significantly reduced by a user friendly GUI and helpful wizards. Application developers and systems administrators can now rapidly map and transport messages between new, existing and legacy applications. 4. The 'mapper' allows quick mapping between any two hierarchical objects, for example, between two HL7 messages, or between an XML document and an HL7 message, or even between an XML document and a database. 5. It has been designed and developed to enable data in a diverse range of formats to be

6. exchanged more easily, swiftly and accurately. 7. The 'Mapper' is another important addition to the Symphonia integration suite of intelligent technologies designed to integrate multiple, different hospital information systems. Symphonia's logical tools and simple interfaces allow users to quickly connect existing information

8. systems to establish fast, secure hospital network communications. About Symphonia: Symphonia 3 is an easy-to-use universal messaging toolkit that enablesvendors, consultants and other developers to rapidly add industry-standard messaging capabilities to new, existing and legacy systems. Orion's Symphonia parses an extensive range of standards including HL7, XML, X.12 (including HIPAA and HCFA), EDIFACT, ASTM, NCPDP, and user-definedformats. Extensive encryption capabilities are included and a wide variety of operating system platforms are supported.

About ORION: Orion Systems is a leading software developer specialising in communications and real-time computer applications. The Company designs software for use in demanding environments and has a reputation for delivering technical firsts engineered to the highest international standards. Orion has won awards for its innovative technology solutions.

--

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