Agfa HealthCare announces eHealth collaboration with ICW and launches ORBIS and iPlan in Canada

Mortsel 28 May 2007Agfa HealthCare, a provider of IT enabled clinical work flow and diagnostic imaging solutions, and InterComponentWare AG (ICW), the eHealth specialist, are intensifying their co-operation efforts. The non-exclusive agreement covers the development of seamless integration and interoperability between Agfa HealthCare's Hospital and Clinical Information System (HIS/CIS) ORBIS and ICW's eHealth Framework. Agfa HealthCare has also unveiled ORBIS for the first time in Canada at the e-Health Conference 2007 in Québec City. The number one choice for Electronic Patient Records (EPR) in Europe, ORBIS offers a unique single database structure which integrates all administrative and clinical data. This allows users to update and access patient information in real-time - enabling enhanced decision making and streamlined patient care. To date, Agfa HealthCare's ORBIS has been successfully deployed in over 750 institutions with more than 450.000 daily users.

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eHealth solutions are aimed at improving the overall quality of care by allowing health care providers to share all relevant patient medical data for an individual in treatment - highlighting allergies, medication history and so forth. This allows each treating physician to see the total medical record of the patient, regardless of location, and supports them in their diagnosis and treatment planning.

The ICW eHealth Framework is an open platform for the development of service-oriented solutions for the health care market. It offers standardized interfaces for the integration of existing applications of other manufacturers with solutions from ICW. The eHealth Framework enables seamless integration, allowing different existing systems to be combined into one consistent solution.

The non-exclusive agreement will strengthen Agfa HealthCare's expanding position in the eHealth market. The company has already successfully linked its ORBIS solutions amongst different facilities of hospital groups in Europe, and offers the possibility for integration of its applications with general practitioner software vendors.

The agreement is an extension of an ongoing co-operation between the two companies on homogeneity issues in the hospital sector. Agfa HealthCare and ICW, amongst others, have already actively co-operated in various working groups in Germany, including the Verband der Hersteller von IT-Lösungen für das Gesundheitswesen (VHitG), on the implementation of Health Level 7 (HL7) in Germany and on the development of an electronic case record.

HL7 is an information exchange standard. It is a standard for the exchange, management and integration of data that support clinical patient care and for the management, delivery and evaluation of health care services.

The many years of experience of ICW developing and using its own eHealth solutions have been incorporated into the eHealth Framework. It is the foundation for all product developments at ICW and is offered to interested partners for their own development purposes.

Philippe Houssiau, President of Agfa HealthCare, explained: "The solutions of Agfa HealthCare and ICW supplement each other optimally. Agfa HealthCare has outstandingly positioned HIS (Hospital Information System), RIS (Radiology Information System), and PACS (Picture Archiving and Communications System) solutions. ICW contributes its many years of know-how in networking existing systems and its personal health record LifeSensor to the partnership."

Peter Reuschel, Chief Executive Officer of ICW, agreed: "The collaboration of Agfa HealthCare and ICW offers the customers of both companies a unique added value, because existing systems can be integrated more effectively."

InterComponentWare AG is an international eHealth specialist with locations in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, the USA and Bulgaria. Its solutions for networking the various players in the health care system lastingly improve process-oriented communication and data integrity, and therefore also the quality of health care. Among other things, ICW develops and distributes software and hardware components for the health care IT infrastructure for electronic health cards, the LifeSensor personal health record as well as networking solutions for hospitals and physician offices.

As part of the bIT4health consortium, ICW provided important consulting services for the implementation of the electronic health card in Germany, is involved in the Austrian eCard project and has recently won the pilot project for the national health card in Bulgaria. More company news is available in the VMW May 2007 article InterComponentWare networks Heidelberg University Hospital with partner hospitals.

Addressing the needs of the entire health care enterprise and built on an advanced service oriented architecture, the ORBIS platform contains over 70 modules that can be used to build and customize the system at the point of care, according to the needs of the provider, patients, and health care organisation overall. Offering unique work flow and information management capabilities, ORBIS also offers a comprehensive approach to health care, delivering increased decision support systems for treatment and decreased duration of patient hospital stays. This integrated EPR solution also includes scheduling activity management and communication software to extend a holistic view of both clinical and administrative information processes.

"In the Canadian health care industry, in order to move toward eHealth and Electronic Health Records (EHR), health care professionals need better tools to make faster and more informed diagnoses and treatment decisions", stated Michael Green, President and CEO for Agfa HealthCare in Canada. "With ORBIS we can help Canadian hospitals reduce wait times, cut and control costs, as well as streamline the delivery of patient care."

At the e-Health Conference 2007, Agfa HealthCare in addition has launched its Internet-based enterprise scheduling and planning solution, iPlan, in Canada. The solution enables hospitals and clinics of all sizes to increase productivity by more efficiently managing appointments and multiple resources in real-time. In fact, with Agfa HealthCare's iPlan, a trained staff member can schedule an appointment up to 50 percent faster, helping to deliver more timely patient care.

Health care delivery is increasingly complex, and with a growing focus on reducing wait times, the demand for productivity and efficiency has never been greater. Designed to quickly and easily manage appointments within a department or across an entire Local Health Integrated Network (LIHN), iPlan enables health care providers to allocate resources more efficiently and to dramatically reduce administration overhead. iPlan also integrates with most existing scheduling solutions, which allows users to leverage previous technology investments.

Based on extensive customer usability studies and innovative software development technologies, Agfa HealthCare's iPlan scheduling solution has an extremely simple and intuitive user interface, requires minimal training, and is highly configurable to accommodate different work flows according to user or medical speciality. Additionally, the standards-based iPlan extends connectivity with IHE-compliant systems - Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise - such as Hospital Information Systems (HIS) and Electronic Patient Records (EPR), to facilitate the seamless exchange of patient demographic data, orders, appointments and related information. This supplies users with relevant patient information, such as possible allergic reactions and necessary medical precautions.

"As a testament to Agfa HealthCare's commitment to help customers embrace and extend previous investments, iPlan is the perfect complement to any existing health care IT or clinical solution", stated Michael Green. "By making the right information available at the right time, to the right person, Agfa HealthCare's iPlan enables greater productivity, reduced administration costs, better delivery of care and shorter wait times for patients."

The Agfa-Gevaert Group is one of the world's leading imaging and information technology companies. Agfa develops, manufactures and markets analogue and digital systems for the printing industry (Agfa Graphics), the health care sector (Agfa HealthCare) and film related products and specific industrial applications (Agfa Materials). Agfa's headquarters are in Mortsel, Belgium. The company is present in 40 countries and has agents in another 100 countries throughout the world. The Agfa-Gevaert Group achieved a turnover of 3,401 million euro in 2006.

Agfa HealthCare, a member of the Agfa-Gevaert Group, is a provider of IT-enabled clinical work flow and image management solutions, and state-of-the-art systems for capturing, processing and printing images in hospitals and health care facilities. The company has over a century of experience in diagnostic imaging and has been a pioneer on the health care IT market since the early 1990's. Agfa HealthCare today employs 5700 staff members, with sales offices and representatives in over 100 markets worldwide. Sales for Agfa HealthCare in 2006 were 1,452 million euro, accounting for 43 percent of total group sales. More company news can be found in the VMW August 2006 article Agfa HealthCare selected as preferred vendor for Toronto East Network's PACS project.


Leslie Versweyveld

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