A Medical Device Daily

Siemens Medical Solutions (SMS; Malvern, Pennsylvania) and Kameda Healthinformatics Institute (Tokyo) reported the establishment of a joint venture company, Siemens Kameda Healthcare IT Systems K.K.

SMS will hold two-thirds ownership and Kameda the remainder.

SMS said the establishment of Siemens Kameda Healthcare IT Systems K.K. strengthens its position in the growing Japanese healthcare market by advancing the availability of information technology (IT) solutions and clinical systems in that country. According to YANO Research, Japan is currently the second largest market for healthcare information systems.

Janet Dillione, president, Health Services, the Healthcare IT Division of SMS, said: “By further strengthening our global presence in the healthcare IT sector, we are continuing to deliver as one of the world’s largest suppliers to the healthcare industry. We look forward to collaborating with Kameda to continue introducing the Japanese market to innovative technologies ... .”

The new company will focus on enhancing Kameda Healthinformatics Institute’s clinical informatics system, KAI, which encompasses electronic medical record, computerized physician order entry and nursing documentation functionalities. The system is being used by nearly 30 hospitals in Japan to assist in managing the workflow of patient care delivery at their facilities.

Toshitada Kameda, chairman, Kameda Healthinformatics, said, “We have seen great success with KAI, and we are confident that Siemens’ expertise will help us to further develop this solution.”

Dillione was appointed chairperson of the j-v, and Kameda was appointed as vice-chairperson. Shinji Tanaka, currently president of Kameda Healthinformatics Institute, will serve as president of the j-v.

Kameda Healthinformatics is one of the group companies of Kameda Medical Center (KMC; Kamogawa City), a supplier of electronic medical record systems to Japan. The company also holds numbers of Japanese and foreign patents in the area of HIT, and has granted patent licenses to some major vendors in Japan.

3M completes buy of Abzil Industria

3M (St. Paul, Minnesota) reported completing its purchase of Abzil Industria e Comercio (Sao Paulo, Brazil), a manufacturer of orthodontic products. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Abzil manufactures brackets, bands, tubes and wires used in orthodontic procedures, complementing 3M’s offerings through 3M Unitek, a provider of Clarity Ceramic Braces, APC Adhesive Pre-Coated Brackets, and most recently, SmartClip Self-Ligating Braces, and Clarity SL Ceramic Self-Ligating Braces.

Abzil Industria e Comercio, which says it is the second largest manufacturer of orthodontics products in Brazil, employs about 300.

Firstsource Solutions completes MedAssist buy

RoundTable Healthcare Partners (Lake Forest, Illinois) reported completing the sale of MedAssist Holding to an affiliate of Firstsource Solutions (Mumbai, India) for $330 million in cash.

Firstsource is a provider of business process management services to financial and media services and healthcare.

MedAssist is a provider of outsourced revenue cycle management services to healthcare, including eligibility services, receivable management services, and collections services. RoundTable acquired a majority interest in MedAssist in May 2003.

Joseph Damico, a founding partner of RoundTable and the chairman of of MedAssist said, “The MedAssist team, led by founder and CEO, Michael Shea, COO Tom Watters, and CFO Frank Stellato, has established MedAssist as a national industry leader in the healthcare revenue cycle management industry. They have grown the company’s revenue and profitability significantly, expanded the company’s geographic footprint and service offerings, and increased the company’s customer base. They will be an excellent strategic partner with Firstsource as they work together to serve their customers and pursue their growth initiatives.”

Shea said, “The entire MedAssist management team is excited to be part of a larger company with both global reach and resources and a commitment to help us grow our business.”

InterCure launches Australian distribution

InterCure (New York) reported that its RESPeRATE hypertension treatment device, designed to lower blood pressure, will launch into retail distribution in Australia through its local marketing and distribution partner, High Tech Health (HTH; Maroochydore, Australia).

RESPeRATE will be distributed through Australia’s three largest pharmacy wholesalers into leading pharmacy chains nationwide, including Chemmart, Terry White and Think Pharmacy.

High Tech Health will introduce RESPeRATE into 300 retail pharmacy locations in early Q4, with its merchandising specialists training pharmacy staff concerning the use and benefits of the device, InterCure said. They will establish merchandising programs at the store level and hold community patient education sessions on hypertension management and the use of RESPeRATE.

Erez Gavish, president/CEO of InterCure, said, “The vast majority of our prospective customers tell us that they would prefer to buy RESPeRATE at their local pharmacy. Our move into the Australian pharmacy channel will allow consumers to buy at their preferred retailer for health products, while building a strong retail presence for InterCure.”

It is estimated that about one in three Australians have high blood pressure, and according to the National Heart Foundation of Australia (Sydney), hypertension is the most frequently managed problem in general physician practices.