Safeguard invests in patient privacy and announces consultancy merger to serve the pharmaceutical and health care industries

Wayne 08 January 1999 The future of patient medical data definitely lies in multiple forms of electronic storage. Integrated Visions Inc., as the most recent and fourth spin-out from XL Vision, which is Safeguard Scientifics' incubator of imaging technology companies, has developed the Privacy Curtain software. Based on the concept of biometric authentication, the programme offers secure and easy access to computerized patient information on intranets, extranets, and over a wide range of internets for telemedicine applications. Safeguard has decided to invest in the technology and in addition, has organized a merger between Integrated Systems Consulting Group and First Consulting Group. The combined company will indirectly enhance the quality of patient care by providing expert assistance to the commercial health care, pharmaceutical, and life sciences communities.

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The future of patient medical data definitely lies in multiple forms of electronic storage. Integrated Visions Inc., as the most recent and fourth spin-out from XL Vision, which is Safeguard Scientifics' incubator of imaging technology companies, has developed the Privacy Curtain software. Based on the concept of biometric authentication, the programme offers secure and easy access to computerized patient information on intranets, extranets, and over a wide range of internets for telemedicine applications. Safeguard has decided to invest in the technology and in addition, has organized a merger between Integrated Systems Consulting Group and First Consulting Group. The combined company will indirectly enhance the quality of patient care by providing expert assistance to the commercial health care, pharmaceutical, and life sciences communities.

As a strategic and dynamic enterprise, Safeguard Scientifics Inc. constitutes a unique partnership of several emerging companies specialized in innovative information technology solutions. Freshly founded promising units are introduced to the market via regularly occurring rights offerings to Safeguard's shareholders. Integrated Visions forms the latest investment in spin-outs from XL Vision. Other related acquisitions include ChromaVision and Who? Vision Systems, which concentrates on the design of fingerprint identification technologies. As a result of the recent transaction, Safeguard currently owns 40% of Integrated Visions' shares.

A growing tendency to apply electronic patient records has forced the health care industry and the government in the United States to urgently proclaim the implementation of tighter security systems. Protection of patient privacy can only be guaranteed through the use of network security solutions, such as they are provided by Integrated Visions. At present, this company is very busy building its management team and business infrastructure. In direct response to the increased need for safety, caused by the incredible growth of Internet use among clinicians for the sharing of highly sensitive patient data, Integrated Visions has come up with the Privacy Curtain programme, which has been inspired on biometrics techniques, like fingerprint identification.

Next to this, Safeguard has been involved in the merger agreement, closed on December 18th 1998 between Integrated Systems Consulting Group (ISCG) and First Consulting Group. As part of the deal, ISCG common stockholders received 0.77 shares of First Consulting Group common stock for each share of ISCG common stock held. In turn, Safeguard now holds about 451.000 common shares as well as 131.000 warrants, representing less than 2.5% fully diluted ownership. The merged companies will combine their activities under the name of First Consulting Group.

A range of 27 offices will provide diverse consultancy, systems integration and management services as well as custom development to North-American and European customers in the health care and pharmaceutical industries. First Consulting Group employs 1400 expert people to support clients in the improvement of their operational effectiveness. This is achieved through the reduction of the general cost and via the smoother introduction of innovative pharmaceutical compounds. The major benefits, originating from the offered consulting, consist in an optimized customer service and an increased level of quality in patient care.


Leslie Versweyveld

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