HealthCenter to stimulate physicians' "Internetworking" with Lucent's Electronic Media Network Services

Murray Hill 27 June 2000Lucent Technologies has set up a new venture with HealthCenter Internet Services Inc., (HCIS) which will help health care providers and organisations leverage the power of the Internet to improve the quality and delivery of health-related services. Lucent's New Ventures Group will transfer its Electronic Media Network Services (EMNS) organisation to HealthCenter, and in return will receive a minority equity share in HealthCenter, which is a privately owned company. The Electronic Media Network Services group is the company's largest provider of Web services, including custom hosting, applications development, and call centre management.

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With this acquisition, HealthCenter (HC) becomes a premier application service provider (ASP) of application hosting, communications, patient management, and clinical services for physicians and consumers. HealthCenter's applications are distributed using a secure global health care network (SGHN). The infrastructure includes:

  • High-security data and Web hosting centres in the United States and Europe, equipped with high-speed servers and large-scale storage;
  • Advanced voice response (AVR) and text-to-speech (TTS) resources;
  • A global high-bandwidth network infrastructure connecting a customer's virtual health care portal (VHP) to geographically distributed health care points of presence (H-POPS);
  • A global network operations centre (GNOC), and
  • A 24-hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week call centre for customer support.

The initial focus of the venture is on the cardiac care market. Cardiovascular disease is the no. 1 killer of Americans, representing 41 percent of all deaths by illness. According to the American Heart Association, of the $1.1 trillion spent by Americans on health care in 1999, the total cost of cardiovascular disease was estimated to be $250 billion. The potential savings opportunity associated with streamlining and improving the diagnosis, treatment, and maintenance of cardiovascular patients approaches $50 billion in the United States alone.

"This venture represents an important Internet networking opportunity for Lucent's New Ventures Group in a very large market space", stated Tom Uhlman, president of the New Ventures Group. "It is a great opportunity for us to leverage our technology to generate value in networking and hosting while helping to improve the quality, security, and reduce the cost of health care for millions of people." This is the 22nd venture announced by Lucent's New Ventures Group.

"HealthCenter is implementing a reliable and secure end-to-end global infrastructure to deliver value-added services, including patient medical records management, test report transmission, telemedicine, chronic disease management and remote monitoring, all with 24x7 customer support", commented Johan Brag, who is the chairman and chief executive officer of HealthCenter.

"We will supply Web-based applications to health care providers, via physician groups and hospitals, insurers, both HMOs and others, employers for their employees as well as general health care consumers", as Mr. Brag stated. "Integrating Lucent's EMNS organisation speeds our time to market by bringing us an established, highly competent team with a great track record of implementing innovative networking applications, and prime hosting services with the highest levels of security and quality."

Founded in 1984, the privately held HealthCenter has a strong technology background, bringing together the latest developments in XML based architectures, medical imaging, distributed databases, data security and wireless communications, and creating an integrated and comprehensive solution for outsourcing mission-critical applications.

In 1993, HC formed a subsidiary in France, Focus Imaging SA, to develop new image analysis techniques for automated interpretation of medical images, including development of the first image analysis application designed to assist physicians in detection of coronary artery disease. In 1998, HC started a broad validation programme of its image analysis applications among major hospitals and HMOs, including Kaiser Permanente and the Massachusetts General Hospital. The company also tested delivery of imaging services from remote facilities using the Internet.

The Electronic Media Network Services division of Lucent Technologies builds systems which provide multiple and media-independent electronic network access methods, security, and maintenance capabilities in a cost-effective and timely manner. EMNS services enable Internet and Intranet users to acquire, distribute, and access information such as Web pages, stored data, on line catalogues, product descriptions, and marketing information in nearly any format. The EMNS organisation component includes Web and database programmers, system administrators, customer support technical consultants, and marketing and business management professionals.

Lucent Technologies, headquartered in New Jersey, designs and delivers the systems, software and hosting services for next-generation communications networks for service providers and enterprises. Backed by the research and development of Bell Labs, Lucent focuses on high-growth areas, including optical and wireless networks; Internet infrastructure; communications software; communications semiconductors and optoelectronics; Web-based enterprise solutions that link private and public networks; and professional network design and consulting services.


Leslie Versweyveld

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