Integra probes Galaxy for theatre management revenues

Integra probes Galaxy for theatre management revenues

ASX-listed medical technology solutions group Integra Medical Imaging (IMI), the subject of a reverse takeover by Western Mining early in 2000, has acquired an exclusive licence for $1 million to develop and market the UK-developed Galaxy Theatre Management System (GTMS) in Australasia and Southeast Asia.

According to IMI managing director Alan Yates, GTMS is the UK's leading hospital theatre management system. The product was created by Sanderson Systems in the UK to meet the needs of Britain's national Health Service.

"Galaxy tracks theatre patients and their needs and its success has made it the UK's top medical management tool," he said. "IMI will make the necessary modifications to the base program to ensure it is fully compatible with Australian needs and conditions."

Yates said the company had paid "around $1 million" (377,000 pounds sterling) for access to the source code and the rights to develop its own custom applications for the local market.

IMI is expecting to reap as much as $50 million worth of high-margin revenues over the next five years from the GTMS theatre management solutions deal and about 30 per cent of the market, according to Yates. He said this figure was "conservatively" calculated on the known size of the Australasian market and current market share in the UK.

According to Yates, the acquisition of the GTMS system is manifestation of IMI's plans to move away from its previous focus in the medical industry to mainly imaging and data capture solutions products. He sees involvement in developing and integrating theatre management solutions as a logical stepping stone towards the nirvana of the medical vertical -- full electronic patient record or EPR solutions.

"We found that, because we were already working in theatres with our data capture solutions, it was not that hard to move into theatre management -- a big ticket item in hospitals," Yates said. "The integration with back-end systems and other platforms represents a much bigger picture for IMI and positions us better for delivering more complete electronic patient record solutions in the future."

Yates said hospitals are looking for the same deliverables from technology as every other market vertical. These include "improved patient care, optimisation of resources and improved cost efficiencies", he said, adding that these objectives required a large amount of value adding services revenue potential.

"We have very poor theatre management solutions in Australia," he said. "All the major hospitals [in Australia] have verified the need for best-of-breed theatre management solutions . . . the US and the UK are much closer to achieving true EPR solutions."

Yates said developing solutions and integrating systems in the medical industry has a few peculiarities which makes it a little different to other verticals. For example, security is paramount due to patient confidentiality requirements while a vast array of technologies of various vintages, complexities and platforms create complex integration headaches.

Meanwhile, standards and methodologies in the health and medical industry are very high -- perhaps only more exacting in the space and aeronautical industries, Yates said.

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