A New Zealand medical software house is about to hit the big time in the US.
Plato CIS, which has just recently received US and New Zealand patents for its medical analysis software, is negotiating with US venture capitalists for what its principal, John Ryan, describes as a substantial seven-figure sum.
“I guess we’re rich,” he says.
Ryan resigned a surgical post six years ago at Middlemore Hospital to develop software that allows clinicians and hospitals to analyse clinical and research costs.
The Plato system has been bought by 10 of the 23 crown health enterprises in New Zealand, where it is mostly embedded inside tools for doctors, though it is not used at all by management.
That’s because the government requires hospitals to provide it costing information using the World Health Organisation ICD 9 standard.
Ryan says existing coding systems either require clinicians to code their work themselves or rely on coding clerks to analyse medical records, decide what care was provided and enter stock phrases to be coded. production planning software for Consultech.
The Plato algorithms don’t need this sort of pre-digestion, he says. “They are able to harvest meaning directly from the most complicated medical records and code it accurately. We have invented a new way of looking at coding, which is how we earned the patents.
“We’ve perfected it for surgery and we’re just starting to move into medical areas such as pneumonia. We’re setting up partnerships with various hospitals around New Zealand.”
Before going into medicine, Ryan worked in the IT industry, developing
Ryan says his venture capitalist partners expect to put him together with potential US business partners in July.