SeeBeyond casts eye on health changes

A US software company plans to capitalise on 'information sharing' moves in the healthcare sector and the nationwide health intranet by pitching itself at the local government level.

A US software company plans to capitalise on “information sharing” moves in the healthcare sector and the nationwide health intranet by pitching itself at the local government level.

SeeBeyond, which sells web-based software to integrate legacy applications and supply chains between business partners, has four New Zealand hospital customers, signed on by its three-year-old Australian subsidiary.

In Australia, it has a hefty slice of the health market and has done a NSW state-wide licensing deal for healthcare providers, with plans under way for a similar scheme in Queensland. These licences mean health records are collated at state level as well as between hospitals.

SeeBeyond has opened an Auckland and Wellington office and intends to enter the same kind of talks with officials here as the moves toward collaboration in the healthcare system take shape, Australia and New Zealand head Des Powell and New Zealand general manager Rob Erskine say.

GPs, community workers and hospitals are being brought under one administrative umbrella after the passing of the Health and Disability Bill in December 2000 and the government is encouraging and reviewing coordinated IT plans among hospitals.

SeeBeyond “expects New Zealand to grow much faster than Australia has” with these legislative changes in place, Powell says.

Its local customers are Canterbury District Health Board, Waitemata Health, Southern Cross, Taranaki Heath and Griffin Foods.

Erskine says other industries SeeBeyond will target include banking and retail.

SeeBeyond, formerly STC, is listed on the Nasdaq. Its products include “application to application” software, which have standardised plugs for most ERP systems; B2B trading hub software; a business process mapping tool; and eIndex, which Erskine says has particular application in New Zealand. He says it launches itself across all users in an industry, such as health, and pulls together disparate information on people with the same name, using a probability approach and letting humans decide if they match in a “near match” situation.

Erskine says the index will help collate patients’ records into one file for clinicians anywhere to access - a key future focus of the health intranet.

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