Blue Cross of California and to partner in phase II launch of Telemedicine Network

Jacksonville Beach 29 February 2000The company will implement Phase II of Blue Cross of California's award-winning telemedicine demonstration project and also manage the statewide network. Dubbed "See a Specialist Across the Street or Across the State", this American telemedicine demonstration project received national recognition in 1999 for both its "Innovations and Best Practice" in medical management from the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. VirTx, acquired by, has recently deployed a statewide Collaborative Medical Network of its multi-media, clinical data transmission services in conjunction with Blue Cross of California, and is building a world-wide Collaborative Medical Network for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital as well.


Implemented in July 1999, Phase I of the programme augmented 17 existing telemedicine sites and established 22 new telemedicine facilities in 18 counties.'s Multi-Media Division, formerly VirTx Inc., designed and deployed the original network which supports live, real time video as well as the asynchronous, store-and-forward, multi-media medical consultations. With the recent acquisition of VirTx, becomes the leading builder of Collaborative Medical Networks supporting Application Service Provider (ASP) hosting of multi-media, clinical application suites. The Collaborative Medical Network solutions can support telemedicine, telehealth and telescience collaboration, end-to-end across the bandwidth spectrum as well as the continuum of care, anywhere in the world.

Phase II of the Blue Cross network, which launched in February 2000, will establish additional telemedicine sites all over the state, expand the medical functionality and re-architect the network from a "point-to-point" configuration into a private, managed network. technology will ensure the security and scaleability of clinical data transmission over the Blue Cross network. VirTx offers Advanced Electronic Data Interchange on a clinical multi-media level for installation on the "front end" of's management application suite, thereby completing the seamless support of health care delivery on a global basis. The applications support the actual practice of medicine, extending e-Health care connectivity to the actual point of care.

Murray I. Firestone, Ph.D., who is president of's Multi-Media Division and formerly president and CEO of VirTx, commented: "In a very short time, the Blue Cross of California Telemedicine Network has gone on the air quite successfully. Through the network, the patients in medically under-served areas are now routinely able to access speciality health care from Centers of Excellence across the state. The Blue Cross of California Telemedicine Network will be an important influence on the way medicine is practised in the future. We applaud Blue Cross' vision and are privileged to have been selected as its technology partner. Residing under the banner, we will increase the security and scaleability of the network in anticipation of increased utilisation going forward."

According to Blue Cross of California's general manager of State Sponsored Programmes John Monahan, the ongoing telemedicine demonstration project exemplifies Blue Cross of California's goal of standing on the cutting edge of health care delivery. "It is our hope that this project will substantiate the need for similar programmes throughout California and possibly across the nation. We are pleased to have as our technology partner as we move forward in our endeavours", he stated. John F. Andrews, who is CEO of, described the Blue Cross relationship as very important to the company and also recognised the organisation as one of the "key influencers, reshaping the delivery of health care using innovative connectivity solutions." company, with its core medical software product, is leading a transition in the medical industry, as it is the first subscription-based health care management system available for delivery through the Internet. Users of the software are charged a small up-front installation fee, and an ongoing subscription fee based on transaction volume. The medical software forms a complete health care management system. By means of the Internet and its Java-based integrator which utilises Sun Microsystems' Java technology,'s software facilitates communication across diverse platforms and languages in unlimited capacity, allowing for the interlink of physicians, hospitals, clinics, HMOs, insurance companies, financiers and government agencies.

The ease and low cost with which it can be implemented, its Internet-based ASP model which reduces the need to build internal IT infrastructures, and its ability to allow for the exchange of information across diverse platforms and systems are able to guarantee the widespread adoption by the medical community. equally operates the e-Net Technology group of companies, which includes e-Net Systems Ltd., formerly Relay Business Systems Ltd., IFA Systems Ltd. and e-Net Software. The e-Net group focuses on removing the complexity of Web-enabling business processes by providing a complete range of Internet Managed Services and Information Technology solutions, and by utilising strategic partners Sun Microsystems, Oracle and Cisco Systems Ltd.'s products are built on the foundations of speed, ease of use, security, scaleability and resilience.

Blue Cross of California, with 5 million medical members, is the California operating subsidiary of WellPoint Health Networks Inc., one of the United States' largest publicly traded managed care companies. WellPoint serves the health care needs of 7.3 million medical and nearly 32 million speciality members nationally. WellPoint offers a broad spectrum of quality network-based health products including open access PPO, POS and hybrid products, HMO and speciality products. Speciality products include pharmacy benefit management, dental, utilisation management, vision, mental health, life and disability insurance, long term care insurance, flexible spending accounts, COBRA administration and Medicare supplements. More information on the telemedicine demonstration project is available in the VMW article Blue Cross of California again generously awarded for its dynamic telemedicine policy.

Leslie Versweyveld

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