West Parry Sound Health Centre's partner MediSolution to acquire PACS expert MarkCare

Montreal 07 March 2001The West Parry Sound Health Centre (WPSHC) in Parry Sound, Ontario has selected the MediSolution health care information software products to integrate WPSHC's seven facilities, three physician's offices, and five specialist's offices. The contract is valued at approximately $2 million in revenue over five years, and the first of its kind in Canada. MediSolution has equally signed a letter of intent to acquire substantially all of the assets of MarkCare Medical Systems Inc., a software applications provider for medical diagnostic and picture archiving and communications systems (PACS).


"Ontario's Ministry of Health has designated the West Parry Sound Health Centre as one of six of the province's primary care reform centres", stated Remi St-Hilaire, President and Chief Executive Officer, MediSolution Ltd. "The integration of 15 Parry Sound regional health care facilities is consistent with the goals of that reform. I am delighted that Parry Sound and the province of Ontario are leading the way in this new trend in cost-effective, high quality health care delivery. For a relatively small investment, the region, and in the long term, the country, will save millions of dollars by enhancing peoples' access to health care services."

MediSolution will install its suite of wireless patient management software. The integration will give the West Parry Sound Health Centre the ability to co-ordinate the full spectrum of health care delivery within its region, which will result in better quality, more efficient and cost-effective patient care. Primary care in and around Parry Sound will be organised and linked via technology to the acute care facility at the West Parry Sound Health Centre.

"MediSolution is glad to be part of advancing health care information delivery and exchange in Canada", commented Pat Artinoff, President, Ontario/West Division, MediSolution. "The West Parry Sound Health Centre is just one example of hundreds of Canadian health care facilities discovering the time and cost saving benefits of MediSolution's information technology."

As a result of the technology, Parry Sound region residents will have access to improved, state-of-the-art health care at West Parry Sound Health Centre and to leading diagnostic and treatment protocols via telehealth capabilities. The integration will equally enable the West Parry Sound Health Centre to obtain advanced specialist consultation assistance throughout Canada.

With MediPatient+, the MediSolution longitudinal electronic patient record, we will now be able to track every medical event in a patient's life, according to Norman Maciver, Chief Executive Officer, West Parry Sound Health Centre. "With one comprehensive, accurate and current record that is instantly available to all health care providers throughout the system, we can provide more efficient, high quality patient care."

West Parry Sound Health Centre is an integrated programme organisation that includes acute care, chronic care, long-term care, rehabilitation, a community care access centre, nursing stations with nurse practitioners in outlying communities and ambulance services. WPSHC is highly regarded as an integrator of diverse and comprehensive programmes for the West Parry Sound and West Muskoka regions.

Medisolution's proposed $1.7 million cash acquisition of MarkCare Medical Systems Inc. includes MarkCare's IntraScan II PACS technology and all the shares of MarkCare's wholly-owned subsidiary, the United Kingdom-based MarkCare Medical Systems Ltd. MarkCare develops and markets medical diagnostic software to radiology departments, large health care facilities, hospitals, and outpatient imaging group practices around the world. The company recently sold its first system in Canada through its partnership with MediSolution.

PACS technology facilitates digital storage, management, and transmission of MRIs, CT scans, X-rays and other medical images within health care environments, a market with an approximate average annual growth of about 25 percent over the past five years and estimated to reach more than $1 billion globally in 2001.

Remi St-Hilaire commented: "The acquisition of PACS technology is vital to our strategy of continued dominance in the Canadian health care IT market and expansion into the United States and Europe, representing substantial new revenue potential for MediSolution over the coming years. PACS, radiology information systems (RIS), and electronic patient record (EPR) systems are the cornerstones of telehealth and tele-radiology. With MarkCare's product suite, our own EPR system, MediPatient+, and our RIS software, MediRad, MediSolution's technology suite for the international health care imaging market is now complete."

MarkCare's U.S. headquarters in Bloomfield, New Jersey will strengthen MediSolution's U.S. position, expanding its customer base and giving it a Northeast presence. MediSolution is also positioned for European expansion using MarkCare's United Kingdom facilities, marketing infrastructure, and customer base. "Our potential in Europe is particularly exciting. We have leading open architecture technology to meet the specific needs of European public health systems and our products are already available in two of Europe's official languages. Now we can access those markets at a very low cost of entry", stated Remi St-Hilaire.

The transaction has been structured to include an interim management services agreement under which MediSolution has assumed the day-to-day management of MarkCare. The complete asset purchase transaction is expected to close by March 15, 2001 and is subject to MediSolution's completion of a satisfactory due diligence, Mark Solution's fulfilment of certain conditions, and customary approvals by regulatory authorities in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the EEC.

Leslie Versweyveld

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