A Medical Device Daily

Authentidate (Berkeley Heights, New Jersey), a provider of secure workflow management software and web-based services, said it has formed a joint venture with EncounterCare Solutions (Palm Beach Gardens, Florida), a provider of technology and services for the home healthcare market.

The joint venture, ExpressMD Solutions, will provide in-home patient vital signs monitoring systems and services to improve care for patients with chronic illnesses and reduce cost of care by delivering results to their health care providers via the Internet.

According to the companies, ExpressMD will combine EncounterCare's Electronic House Call patient vital signs monitoring appliances with a specially designed web-based management and monitoring software module based on Authentidate's Inscrybe Healthcare platform. ExpressMD will enable unattended measurement of patients' vital signs and related health information, the companies said. Patients' data will then be securely sent electronically to each patient's health care provider for review. ExpressMD will be designed to aid wellness and preventative care, and deliver better continuity of care to specific patient segments such as the elderly, special needs or pediatric patients with chronic illnesses who require regular monitoring of serious medical conditions.

According to a January research study conducted at the State University of New York at Fredonia, the demand for patient monitoring systems in the primary healthcare sector in the U.S. is forecast to increase 5.9% a year to an estimated $12 billion market by 2012 based on expected contributions to positive therapeutic outcomes and efficiencies. Additionally, the study indicates that the market for self-monitoring activities will also expand as treatment for chronic care patients, especially patients with asthma, diabetes and heart disorders focuses on preventative care.

Using ExpressMD's offerings health care providers will be able to easily view their specific patient's vital statistics and make adjustments to the patient's care plans via the Internet, according to Authentidate and EncounterCare. ExpressMD's patient monitoring system is intended to provide patients with increased peace of mind and improved condition outcomes through a combination of care plan schedule reminders and comprehensive disease management education on their in- home communication unit. The service will provide intelligent routing to alert on-duty caregivers whenever a patient's vital signs are outside of the practitioner's pre-set ranges. Health care providers and health insurers also are expected to benefit by having additional tools to improve patient care, and reduce overall in-person and emergency room patient visits.

"EncounterCare's expertise with in-home patient monitoring technologies and Authentidate's expertise in online healthcare systems and securely managing patients' documents has allowed us to shorten the development cycle and ready this solution for delivery in record time," said Ron Mills, CEO of EncounterCare.

"The ExpressMD Solutions joint venture will allow Authentidate and EncounterCare to leverage existing portions of our respective healthcare products as well as existing healthcare industry relationships from both companies," said Ben Benjamin, president of Authentidate. "The telemedicine market is a large market that we believe will benefit from our document management capabilities. By entering this market through a joint venture, we will be able to strongly penetrate an emerging market, while expanding the use of our platform within the healthcare community."

In other new ventures:

• Xiom (West Babylon, New York) reported the formation of an affiliate company called Extreme Mobile Coating to franchise contractors to apply antimicrobial-protected coatings in areas of high public traffic. The target market is for hospitals, fast food restaurants, sport venues, colleges and schools.

Xiom says it developed the first completely portable polymer spray system.

Extreme will be training franchisees to use Xiom equipment, including the Xiom electric "no flame" system and powder formulations. Extreme will also engage in specialty high value contracting of Xiom coatings directed toward municipal markets.

• Introgen Therapeutics (Austin, Texas) reported the formation of Introgen Technical Services (ITS) to pursue contract production, process development and manufacturing services. ITS will supply Introgen's future product inventory needs for development stage and future commercial products, the company said. Advances in both scale and flexibility of biologics production have allowed Introgen to build its product inventories and to manufacture under contract for select projects. Aimed at increasing value for shareholders, the creation of ITS will allow for expansion of contract manufacturing and services to use Introgen's production capacities and assets in its multiple facilities.

Introgen develops molecular therapies, immunotherapies, vaccines and nano-particle tumor suppressor therapies for a wide range of cancers using tumor suppressors, cytokines and genes.