Orion lands three deals after US conference

Local healthcare software company Orion Systems has already snagged three international deals for its two-years-in-the-making "message mapping" tool after showcasing it at a US conference last month.

Local healthcare software company Orion Systems has already snagged three international deals for its two-years-in-the-making “message mapping” tool, after showcasing it at a US conference last month.

Two healthcare organisations in the US and one in South Korea have bought and are using the mapper, says Orion general manager Mark Capill.

Orion plans to export the mapper both directly and through resellers primarily to the US, but says it has potential deals forming with its current resellers in the UK and a new partnership in Asia.

At $US10,000 the mapper – which translates file formats allowing ease of file transfer between healthcare systems – significantly undercuts its competition in the US, claims Capill. He says Microsoft’s Biztalk framework and set of services would be the best known competitor.

The product was conceived several years ago when it became obvious healthcare organisations were having trouble transferring files with ease between, for example, the admissions department and radiology. Orion and a team of lecturers from the University of Auckland’s computer sciences department prepared a joint proposal to grants body Technology New Zealand and were given $370,000 to build the mapper from scratch.

The mapper’s engine and user interface have been written in C++ with some Microsoft Foundation Class pieces, and has a graphical user interface (GUI) when run on Windows NT. Orion has also just finished building a Java version, Capill says. It can map messages in languages as diverse as HL7 and XML between existing and legacy applications.

At the moment the mapper is best used for peer-to-peer use, Capill says, with a full-strength enterprise model to be released at the end of the year.

Orion says the mapper is priced for exporting rather than the local market. Its other products, application integration software Concerto and messaging toolkit Symphonia, are employed in health organisations here such as South Auckland Health.

But Orion says the mapper is not confined to the medical industry and has applications for other sectors including power companies or financial organisations.

The mapper was launched at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society convention in New Orleans on February 5, said to be the largest annual event of its kind in the world.

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