IATRA Life Sciences signs Letter of Intent to form joint venture with P2P Health Systems Inc.

Toronto 04 May 2004IATRA Life Sciences Corporation has signed a Letter of Intent with P2P Health Systems Inc. of Halifax, Nova Scotia to form a joint venture to develop and commercialize P2P's telehealth, telemonitoring and diagnostic telemedicine technologies worldwide. IATRA will contribute funding of $2.000.000 to the joint venture in agreed tranches, and provide marketing, sales, administrative and management support. P2P's contributions to the joint venture will be its technology systems, patient information systems and intellectual property. P2P will further provide research and development, product development, customer support, administrative and management functions. P2P offers health care providers a full range of integrated telehealth solutions, fully supported by a patient information system that is Web accessible.

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The P2P technologies provide physicians, other health care professionals and shut-in patients with remote electronic access to each other through a wide range of audio, video, data, diagnostic and monitoring tools, interactive health care information and expertise. Telehealth and telemedicine are both rapidly growing segments of the current health care industry, delivering enhanced quality of patient care, improved productivity for physicians and other health care professionals, and financial efficiency for health care organisations.

The customers for P2P systems are homecare providers, governments, health authorities, hospitals, HMO's, physicians, nursing and retirement homes, and private health care providers. All of these customers have strong financial and professional interests in electronically accessing patients in remote and large urban areas, where it is difficult and expensive to reach patients through traditional personal visits.

The use of P2P technologies improves patient access and the cost efficiencies of sending a health care professional to the patient. The North American average for traditional homecare visits by a health care professional is 5 patients per day. The P2P systems increase that efficiency through electronic access to 15-24 patients per day. High-risk patients can be remotely monitored on a continual basis using two-way communications, as either the patients or their health care providers can contact each other at any time.

The current P2P product line includes three different telehealth technologies, offering health care providers a full range of telehealth options:

  1. Homecare System utilizes standard telephone lines to send two-way voice, video and data between a health care provider and the patient's home. Eight vital signs of the patient can be remotely monitored using supported peripherals: blood pressure, Sp02 (blood oxygen saturation), ECG, weight, PT monitor (blood coagulation), blood glucose, stethoscope and spirometer (lung function). The video patient visit captures images of the patient and vital sign measurements, and stores the data directly in the patient information system for future reference.
  2. Integrated Telehealth System allows health care professionals in remote areas to utilize real-time videoconferencing to perform remote clinical and patient consultations. This system also provides health care professionals with immediate access to stored patient information and large international medical databases. In addition to the core videoconferencing capabilities which provide reliable, high quality audio and video transmission, the Integrated Telehealth System supports the integrated connection, control and storage of the data output of numerous specialized medical scopes and video sources. These include Otoscope, Dermascope, Patient Camera and Electronic Stethoscope. The devices are supported by data capture elements such as an X-Ray Digitizer or Document Scanner, and can also be fully integrated into the system for seamless review of the electronic medical record. The Integrated Telehealth System technology was recently acquired by P2P from General Dynamics Canada, which had achieved more than $10 million in product sales to over 50 hospitals in Canada, Saudi Arabia and Thailand.
  3. Wellness Kiosk is an internet-based kiosk offering real time and bi-directional videoconferencing. All eight vital sign peripherals that are supported by the Homecare System can be utilized, as well as a Breathalyzer peripheral. The system also functions in a stand-alone mode, using a touch screen platform and a thermal printer to capture the user's physical data. The user may also link directly to a health care provider for an interactive health consultation. The system further includes the ability to integrate an emergency first responder's kit and other emergency devices such as a defibrillator. As an internet based system, other features can be embedded into the platform, including a comprehensive educational health site providing users with timely and relevant medical information on a range of diseases. The Wellness Kiosk is designed for corporate worksites, industrial facilities, community centres, schools and correctional institutions, and is currently installed in a number of corporate locations in Canada, the United States, Mexico and Taiwan.

Canada Health Infoway, a Canadian Federal initiative to upgrade the Canadian health care system through telehealth and telemedicine, will invest $150 million in telehealth technologies over the next 2 years. This Federal initiative will provide the funds to health care providers to rapidly implement telehealth and telemedicine systems to improve patient access across Canada. In addition to the business development opportunities in Canada, P2P has distributors in the United States, Mexico and Taiwan, and is actively pursuing business opportunities in those markets.

Mr. Gordon Arnold, Managing Director of IATRA Life Sciences, stated: "This joint venture with P2P launches IATRA into the fast growing telehealth and telemedicine sectors. The financial pressures on health care systems will force the increasing use of technologies to reach patients in their homes, especially in a large country like Canada. IATRA's historical focus on diagnostic technologies fits perfectly with P2P's focus on remote diagnosis and treatment. We look forward to working with the talented people at P2P to together become an international force in telehealth and telemedicine."

Mr. Bert Loveless, Chief Executive Officer of P2P Health Systems, stated: "P2P is pleased with the strengths that IATRA brings to the table, a critical factor in our desire to build a relationship. IATRA has already contributed significantly to improving the P2P business focus. This joint venture will allow both companies to build on the P2P technologies."

IATRA and P2P will jointly manage the joint venture, and will share in the net profits of the joint venture according to sharing ratios of 50/50, 70/30 and 40/60, respectively, depending on the product sold. The joint venture will have an initial term of 15 years, subject to renewal by either party for a further term of 15 years. The completion and signing of the joint venture agreements and documents is scheduled for May 31, 2004. The formation of the joint venture is subject to due diligence satisfactory to IATRA, any required regulatory approvals, and legal documentation acceptable to both parties.

IATRA Life Sciences Corporation is a Canadian company dedicated to the acquisition, development and commercialization of promising and unique diagnostic, medical and health-related technologies throughout the world.


Leslie Versweyveld

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