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NZ Health IT firm Intrahealth wins Canadian deal

NZ Health IT firm Intrahealth wins Canadian deal

2 November 2005 -- New Zealand health IT software company Intrahealth Systems Ltd has beaten international competition to win a significant contract with Canada’s Fraser Health Authority (FHA) to help improve the delivery and co-ordination of its primary healthcare services.

The deal is worth between $4.8million - $7.2million with the FHA servicing a population of 1.44 million people – about one third of the total population of the province of British Columbia, Canada.

Intrahealth went through a rigorous selection process against Canadian and international competition to win the Fraser Health Authority (FHA) contract, said Intrahealth CEO Mark Matthews.

“This transaction is the culmination of several years of interaction with Fraser Health with the initial relationship formed in the course of New Zealand Trade and Enterprise supported market qualification and research activities. We expect the transaction to spearhead our push into North America and open opportunities both pan Canada and along the western seaboard of the USA. Significant benefits for both New Zealand and Australian health technology are expected to be realised,” said Mr Matthews.

Dr Matthews said Intrahealth’s vision is to support improved patient health through a multi-disciplinary approach to delivering primary care services.

“This relationship with Fraser Health is an important recognition that our technology vision is now being recognised as an appropriate model for large-scale integration of primary care,” said Dr Matthews. “Being successful in a rigorous Fraser Health process that was open to suitable vendors throughout the world is a strong endorsement of both the sophistication of our technology and its maturity.”
Intrahealth’s suite of software operates off a single integrated platform and is designed to link all the different participants electronically, for example hospitals, GPs, community health nurses, mental health workers and others, so that potentially they can share patient records and information.

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“Our Accession product even allows patients to access their records, make appointments and interface with healthcare professionals. Privacy and access issues have been diligently managed, and are seen as equally important as is the ease by which authorised users can access and add to the information,” said Mr Matthews.

The fact that Intrahealth’s software products operate off a single technology platform offers enormous advantages in terms of speed and flexibility compared with the traditional single initiative approach taken by most of Intrahealth’s competitors, said Dr Matthews.

“Under our tender proposal we submitted our suite of primary care products, including Profile, HCC, InSync and Accession,” added Dr Matthews. “Fraser Health has said it wants to engage in a long-term relationship with Intrahealth to explore the full potential of this fully integrated primary care suite of software.”

The services redesign effort requires support from an integrated suite of administration and electronic medical record software that is capable of being hosted under a centralised model, should it be required in the future.

“This contract is our Canadian beachhead. We’ll start in British Columbia and hopefully spread across Canada and then in time into the USA.”

Dr Matthews said New Zealand Trade and Enterprise has provided matched financial support and market intelligence to help with its expansion into export growth.

“NZTE has helped with research to assess the potential of particular export markets and helped us visit those markets.”

NZTE Sector Director ICT Hans Frauenlob said Intrahealth is one of a cluster of New Zealand health IT companies that are confidently taking on big players in the huge international health market.

“It’s one of several New Zealand companies to score a success in Canada, a market NZTE has been pushing for health software IT for a number of years. Canada is investing in upgrading its health systems throughout the various provinces. New Zealand companies in this sector are leading edge. They’ve got a certain world-class ability with their software, often developed from efforts in New Zealand to use IT to provide better health outcomes.”


Editor’s Notes:

Established in 1997 and now employing about 60 staff, Intrahealth has grown strongly over the last year, with growth in its New Zealand business and export success into Australia.

Intrahealth is a privately owned business with the majority of its shareholders New Zealand medical practitioners. A key player in the New Zealand outpatient healthcare IT sector, the Auckland company is now focusing on selling its suite of products to targeted export markets, including Australia and now Canada.

Fraser Health in Canada has licensed all of Intrahealth’s technology including:
- Insync – stores the EMR and functions as the hub in the asp (application service provider) model
- Accession – patient and provider web access to enable patients and providers to view their medical record, make appointments etc
- Electronic Medical Record viewer (EMR viewer)
- Health Care Community (HCC) – hospital outpatient application bridging between primary care, NGO’s and hospital inpatient systems
- Profile – primary care practice management systems

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