HealthRamp purchases palmOne handhelds to advance electronic prescribing initiatives

New York 19 May 2004HealthRamp Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Ramp Corporation, purchased more than 200 Wi-Fi enabled Tungsten C handhelds, manufactured by palmOne Inc., a maker of handheld computers and highly acclaimed smartphones, for deployment to doctors to enable the company's electronic prescribing initiatives with CarePoint. In June, HealthRamp and palmOne will co-sponsor a webinar focused on electronic prescribing and the increased quality of care and cost savings it can bring to physicians.

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HealthRamp plans to increase the number of Tungsten C handhelds and Treo 600 smartphones tenfold as it continues an aggressive electronic prescribing campaign that began late in 2003, aimed at more than 35.000 physicians, more than 2000 of whom are targeted for 2004 deployment.

HealthRamp develops and markets the CarePoint suite of technologies, which enables electronic prescribing, lab orders and results, Internet-based communication, data integration, and transaction processing over a handheld device or browser at the point of care. palmOne works with partners, such as HealthRamp, to develop practical health care solutions that help deliver critical data to health care professionals at the point-of-care.

According to the eHealth Initiative's Electronic Prescribing Project, studies have shown that the United States health care system would save up to $29 billion by mandating the use of electronic prescribing solutions. With more than 3 billion prescriptions written annually using traditional paper-based methods, electronic prescribing could not only improve patient safety but could ultimately lead to better quality of care.

"The superior connectivity, performance and battery life of palmOne's products have compelled physicians to make devices such as the Tungsten C and the Treo 600 their point-of-care companions. The responsiveness of palmOne's technicians has enabled HealthRamp to effortlessly advance our CarePoint suite of technologies running on palmOne's Wi-Fi and smartphone devices", stated Louis Hyman, chief technology officer and executive vice president of operations for HealthRamp.

"palmOne believes that electronic prescribing is a very important initiative, and we're committed to working with partners to speed up adoption by physicians", stated Mike Lorion, vice president of vertical markets for palmOne. "We're pleased that HealthRamp is providing a solution on the palmOne platform that allows physicians to improve safety, accuracy and efficiency while cutting costs."

In line with current industry research findings, a recent survey of CarePoint users and other doctors, conducted by HealthRamp, found that:

  • Close to 70 percent of those surveyed find that electronic prescribing on a handheld device saves time and money, reduces paperwork, and reduces follow-up phone calls from patients and pharmacies.
  • Physicians were pleased with CarePoint's ability to help improve the level of patient care. Ninety-three percent feel strongly that CarePoint benefits their patients. Eighty-four percent believe that CarePoint improves patient safety. Doctors indicated a belief that patient safety improvements can be achieved due to electronic prescribing's ability to catch potential drug-to-drug interactions and limit errors caused by pharmacies misreading hand-written prescriptions.
  • Other benefits from point-of-care automation noted by surveyed physicians include better formulary compliance, faster prescription refills, and the ability to review patient medications when a chart is not available.

"I've been using handhelds for years, personally and professionally, and the palmOne and CarePoint solution delivers my dream of full professional implementation, from writing a prescription at the point of care to delivery to the pharmacy and, in turn, the patient. CarePoint allows me to spend less time writing prescriptions and doing paperwork and more time with my patients. And if I can spend more time with my patients while still saving a minute or two for each patient overall, I'm making every minute count", stated Dean Blakeley, M.D., Raleigh, North Carolina.

"Electronic medical records are the solution of the future. The HealthRamp solution is ideal: low cost and easy to use and implement. And most physicians who are using handhelds are already using palmOne handhelds, so there's virtually nothing to learn. It is an easy solution that addresses key issues like patient safety. HealthRamp has the technology figured out, and palmOne devices are great", stated Raymond Eugene Tidman, M.D., RiverStone MD, Blue Ridge, Georgia.

On June 9 at 11, palmOne and HealthRamp will present a webinar focused on emerging technologies for point-of-care automation. Jason Barton, director of health care business for palmOne, and Louis Hyman, chief technology officer and executive vice president of operations for HealthRamp, will provide a demonstration of the CarePoint electronic prescribing solution on palmOne devices and offer insights into key implementation considerations. HealthRamp will also summarize results from its recent survey of the electronic prescribing market.

palmOne Inc. delivers what matters most to customers, whether a single consumer or company of thousands, enabling users to improve their personal lives and professional productivity through mobile devices and solutions. palmOne is the name adopted in October 2003 by Palm Inc., when it spun off PalmSource Inc., maker of the Palm OS platform software, and acquired Handspring Inc. Uniting the Zire, Tungsten and Treo subbrands, the creation of palmOne launched a new, stronger market leader in handheld computer and communications hardware and software solutions.

Ramp Corporation, through its wholly owned HealthRamp subsidiary, markets the CareGiver and CarePoint technology suites. CarePoint enables electronic prescribing, lab orders and results, Internet-based communication, data integration, and transaction processing over a handheld device or browser, at the point-of-care. CareGiver allows long term care facility staff to easily place orders for drugs, treatments and supplies from a wireless handheld PDA or desktop Internet Web browser.

HealthRamp's products enable communication of high value-added health care information among physician offices, pharmacies, hospitals, pharmacy benefit managers, health management organisations, pharmaceutical companies and health insurance companies. HealthRamp's OnRamp division provides a state of the art telecommunications centre that enables 24/7 communication between a medical practice and its patients.


Leslie Versweyveld

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