UAE to buy majority share of WorldCare TechnologiesFirm plans to create Internet portal site using WorldCare’s softwareWhile information technology has been deployed at a high rate in a wide range of industries, the healthcare sector
Firm plans to create Internet portal site using WorldCares software
While information technology has been deployed at a high rate in a wide range of industries, the healthcare sector has lagged behind in spending, despite the obvious benefits of efficiency gains and improved work flow. To tap into this market opportunity, healthcare information technology firm United America Enterprises has signed an agreement to obtain a 60% interest in telemedicine and electronic patient record software provider WorldCare Technologies. The transaction involves $6 million cash and stock.
UAE will use WorldCares OpenMed software suite as the platform for a new healthcare Internet portal, which will enable physicians to access a wide range of clinical data, including medical images, over the Internet, according to Alex Budzinsky, executive vice president of Laguna Hills, CA-based UAE.
It will provide the means for communication of clinical information between doctors, clinics, hospital administrators, and insurers, he said. They will be able to access this data any time and anywhere with a standard Web browser, provided they have the proper access authorization.
Cambridge, MA-based WorldCare Technologies will join FlashlinkIT in UAEs corporate stable. UAE acquired the remote printing provider in March, and will incorporate Flashlinks technology into the portal. Other capabilities to be added in the coming months include storage of study results, Budzinsky said.
This will essentially be a marketplace in which information from various providers and users can be brought and exchanged in order to provide a full scale of service for a specific patient or case, he said.
UAE expects the portal will be ready for clinical use by November. Under the terms of the acquisition, the company will pay $6 million, plus $1 million in shares of UAE stock to be paid a year from now. Of the $6 million investment, $5 million will be invested in ongoing development of WorldCares business and technology. The remaining cash and future shares will be paid to telemedicine services provider WorldCare Limited, which spun off WorldCare Technologies as a technology development unit in November 1998.
In addition, UAE has assumed responsibility for WorldCares operating costs, retroactive to May, and has agreed to lend an additional $1 million for operating costs in the 13 to 24-month period following the closing date. The closing of the transaction is subject to the approval of the Vancouver Stock Exchange.
In other WorldCare news, the company plans to introduce a new release to OpenMed this month, adding support for modalities such as endoscopy and dermatology. A Java-based version of OpenMed will also be available, according to Eman Safadi, COO of WorldCare Technologies.
WorldCare has received a large contract from Malaysia as part of that governments information technology initiative, the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) project. WorldCare will participate in MSC as part of a consortium that includes Malaysian telemedicine software developer Cybercode and several local companies and foreign multinational firms, according to WorldCare.
Four five-year pilot telemedicine programs have been developed as part of the MSC project. In the projects Lifetime Health Plan initiative, electronic patient records will be stored in secure databases. Four government hospitals and 70 public healthcare facilities will participate in this project phase.
Another program, Mass Customized/ Personalized Health Information and Education, will result in the creation of an electronic database of various ailments. Finally, a Teleconsultation initiative will facilitate consultation between patients and doctors over networks using network-linked medical instruments and imaging systems, according to WorldCare.
WorldCare also maintains its relationship with HIS firm Data General and its PACS software developer MarkCare Medical Systems. The three firms entered into a strategic alliance earlier this year (PNN 2/99).