Meridian to manufacture telemedicine products for new European venture

Columbia 08 March 2001Meridian Medical Technologies Inc. will manufacture cardiology telemedicine products for the new joint venture of Philips Medical Systems and SHL Telemedicine Ltd. in Europe. The alliance between Philips and SHL was closed in Europe on January 25, 2001.

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The joint venture between Philips and SHL has been established to market cardiology telemedicine products and services in targeted markets in Europe, establishing medical call centres and providing remote cardiac monitoring equipment and services for patients with heart disease.

The joint venture will expand on SHL's 13-year success in Israel, which uses Meridian-produced equipment to provide home monitoring services for more than 55.000 heart patients. It will purchase monitoring devices from SHL, to which Meridian Medical Technologies remains the exclusive manufacturer under existing agreements.

"Meridian and SHL have had a long relationship in telemedicine, and this new joint venture is expected to result in significantly broader use of our telemedicine products throughout Europe", stated James H. Miller, chairman, president, and chief executive officer of Meridian. He noted that Meridian's telemedicine product sales had doubled in the previous quarter.

The new venture will be known as Philips Heart Care Telemedicine Services BV, headquartered in the Netherlands. Operations are expected to begin later this year.

The first telemedicine products that will be supplied by Meridian include the new CardioBeeper CB12/12 cardiac monitor, which allows heart patients to transmit a complete 12-lead electrocardiogram (ECG) from home or office to medical personnel via a telephone line; the Cardio Pocket, a single-lead ECG device in a wallet; the Telepress Blood Pressure Monitor; and the Teleweight, a weight trend monitor. All products are manufactured at Meridian's facility in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

"These devices offer convenience while reducing health care costs and improving diagnostic and treatment capabilities", stated Jamil LaHam, general manager of Meridian's Cardiopulmonary Systems group. "The introduction of these products and the accompanying monitoring services in Europe will include a focus on the management of congestive heart failure, a condition which affects more than five million Europeans and significantly contributes to rising health care costs."

Meridian has strong core technologies in non-invasive cardiopulmonary diagnostics, and is specialised in the development and sales of auto-injector drug delivery systems. The company develops and produces health care products designed to save lives, reduce health care costs and improve the quality of patient's lives.

More details about the alliance between Philips and SHL are available in the VMW March 2001 article Philips Medical Systems and SHL to establish European telemedicine joint venture.


Leslie Versweyveld

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