Simpl makes inroads in e-health market

Locals to present health connction software at US conference

New Zealand’s Simpl Group has been asked to present its health connection software at a US health industry group conference hosted by Microsoft.

Simpl’s solutions architect, Wagner Silveira, will be the only New Zealand speaker to present at the bi-annual Microsoft Health Users Group conference, which is being held this week in Redmond, Washington. With the exception of a presenter from Microsoft’s UK health team, the rest of the speakers are from the US.

“The exciting thing for us is that some of our guys are world-recognised as experts in this particular area,” says Simpl chief executive Bennett Medary.

Microsoft bought the sole rights to Simpl’s health connection engine two years ago for its Connected Health Framework, which aims to improve health system interoperability and data exchange. Simpl is continuing to assist Microsoft in building connectivity capability into the solution, called the Cross Enterprise Document Sharing-b (XDS.b) Integration Profile, and Microsoft is sending Simpl’s people to health conferences around the world to explain the technology, says Medary.

The technology provides a secure and standards-based interoperable approach for exchanging patient-related documents between any healthcare provider, says Medary.

The software can for example enable “eReferrals” between GPs and hospitals; the sharing of radiology reports and x-rays; transferring electronic prescriptions between hospitals and pharmacies; and the ability to share and immidiately access a person’s current medication and allergies, should they seek emergency care, he says.

Simpl’s developer team has been working closely with Microsoft’s world wide health team on developing the product for the past 18 months, says Simpl’s UK health solutions group manager, Mark Simmons. Microsoft’s health team is spread over the US, Europe and Asia Pacific.

Engineers from Microsoft’s Global Services team in India has also been involved to complete the architecture, design and testing of the solution. Simpl’s architects and engineers are based here in New Zealand, in addition to a team in the UK, he says.

Simpl’s role within this global, virtual team was that of architecture and design lead, says Simmons. The team uses .Net technologies, including Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) to implement secure web services, he says.

Simmons says it is surprising how well it works to collaborate with team members across the world and to create a “shared buzz” that keeps the team motivated. In addition to teleconferencing, the team uses Skype and different type of messaging to communicate, he says.

Some of these interoperable technologies are already being rolled out, says Medary. Simpl won a Micorsoft partner award last week for its B4 School solution, developed in partnership with the Ministry of Health.

The solution has the integration capabilities built into it, he says. Through health checks for four-year-olds, the programme aims to identify any health, behavioural or social concerns which could affect a child’s ability to learn, for example a hearing problem or communication difficulty.

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