McKesson Telehealth Guardian extends patient monitoring solution and selects AMAC as exclusive PERS provider for its telehealth monitoring offerings

Atlanta 14 December 2005In a move to offer health care providers the most comprehensive community strategy available, McKesson has introduced its McKesson Telehealth Guardian solution, the latest addition to the McKesson Telehealth Advisor family of patient monitoring solutions. American Medical Alert Corporation, a provider of health care communication services and advanced home health monitoring technologies, has executed a five year licensing, marketing and distribution agreement with McKesson Corporation to provide Personal Emergency Response Systems (PERS) and 24/7 monitoring services.


McKesson, a health care services and information technology company, intends to offer AMAC's PERS as a part of McKesson Telehealth Advisor, its remote patient monitoring product offering. AMAC's solution will be marketed as McKesson Telehealth Guardian.

McKesson Telehealth Guardian is a personal emergency response system (PERS) consisting of a simple telephone-based communication unit, a wireless transmitter in the home and a specialized emergency response call centre. With the addition of PERS, no other automation company can match McKesson's breadth of solutions that allows providers to extend their patient interaction across the continuum of care.

Designed to increase patient independence, shorten provider response time and provide ease of mind for families, McKesson Telehealth Guardian uses wireless technology to create an advanced communication link between patient and an expert call centre. For health care providers, the solution can help to eliminate unnecessary hospital admissions and reduce average lengths of stay.

AMAC's PERS is the most recent enhancement to McKesson's health care information and technology portfolio. Under the arrangement, McKesson will exclusively offer AMAC's PERS with its health care management software platform, enabling homecare agencies and hospital networks to provide life-safety monitoring technology to senior and chronically ill populations. The parties have also agreed to certain marketing arrangements with respect to AMAC's PERS. The exclusivity and marketing arrangements are subject to certain performance milestones.

Howard Siegel, Chief Executive Officer, speaking on behalf of AMAC commented: "We are extremely pleased to be selected by McKesson as a strategic partner to enhance their portfolio of health monitoring devices designed to reduce costs and improve quality of care across the entire health care delivery system. This relationship immediately provides AMAC with a national footprint for significant growth. With McKesson's leadership position in the health care industry and extensive distribution network, together we will create an opportunity for increased utilization and further position PERS as a vital component of our comprehensive home health management solution."

AMAC is a health care communications company dedicated to the provision of support services to the health care community. AMAC's product and service portfolio includes Personal Emergency Response Systems (PERS) and emergency response monitoring, electronic medication reminder devices, disease management monitoring appliances and health care communication and solutions services. AMAC operates several 24/7 Emergency Response and Telephone Answering Service (TAS) Communication Centers to support the delivery of high quality, health care communications.

The Telehealth Guardian solution complements McKesson Telehealth Advisor, McKesson's in-home patient monitoring solution that provides chronic disease management through patient coaching, education and monitoring of symptoms, behaviour, knowledge and vital signs information. Together, they offer a unique combination of home technologies designed to increase independence and reduce the cost of managing chronic illnesses, which affect nearly 132 million Americans and represent about 75 percent of total health spending.

"To help patients remain independent longer by better managing their chronic diseases, McKesson is expanding the technology options available that allow patients to remain in their own homes", stated Craig Frazier, vice president and general manager of McKesson's Extended Care Solutions Group. "Telehealth Guardian is yet another component of this emerging expansion of the health care infrastructure."

McKesson Telehealth Guardian's two-way voice console features large buttons and a simple face design. Joined by easy-to-use lightweight activators and 24x7 access to emergency personnel, the system promotes patient confidence to remain living independently in their own homes. Telehealth Guardian automatically displays patient information and response directives to monitoring personnel for individualized care.

McKesson leads the industry in supporting the information needs of homecare organisations, with more than 19.000 nurses and other clinicians relying on Horizon Homecare to support more than 42 million patient visits per year. Thousands of caregivers use point-of-care laptop computer devices for home visits. McKesson's telehealth solutions represent the next step in improving caregiver efficiency while empowering patients to become more engaged in their own care.

McKesson Corporation is a Fortune 15 health care services and information technology company dedicated to helping its customers deliver high-quality health care by reducing costs, streamlining processes and improving the quality and safety of patient care. Over the course of its 172-year history, McKesson has grown to provide pharmaceutical and medical-surgical supply management across the spectrum of care; health care information technology for hospitals, homecare and payers; hospital and retail pharmacy automation; and services for manufacturers and payors designed to improve outcomes for patients.

More news about McKesson is available in the VMW February 2005 article Physicians at Duke University Hospital rapidly adopt McKesson's expert order system. For more information about AMAC, you can read the VMW April 2004 article Mount Carmel Hospital System reports positive test pilot results using AMAC's Telehealth Monitoring Platform.

Leslie Versweyveld

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