For a long time I have been concerned that the Australian Digital Health Agency (previously NEHTA) has been attempting to develop various solutions to a number of complex digital health problems which it does not seem to really understand, and as a consequence it is promoting an assortment of unsubstantiated ideas deficient in clarity, prudence and substance.
I read the recently released Digital Health Strategy and at the end of the 63 pages I asked myself: so what? What did I learn and expect to learn? How clear was I about where we were heading? About how and when we were going to get there? And would it make a difference?
In a bit of late breaking news today we hear that Auckland-based secure messaging provider HealthLink has been acquired by Irish firm Clanwilliam Group, which is building itself a nice little portfolio of medical software vendors serving parts of the world with reasonably similar primary care sectors, namely Ireland, the UK, New Zealand and Australia.
The Irish government has for over 20 years supported both the IT and the pharmaceutical industries with seriously valuable tax breaks in order to attract investment into the country, but it also seems to have encouraged a thriving local industry that is producing some quality health IT firms that are now not only exporting technology but are setting up shop down our way.
US vendor Sunquest caused a few raised eyebrows this week when it was revealed that the Tucson firm had played a blinder and won the hotly contested tender for a new laboratory information system to replace Auslab for Pathology Queensland, the bill for which the Bananabenders estimate will cost a minimum of $50 million but is budgeted for up to the century mark.
While an established name in global LIS circles, from what we gather Sunquest has not had an installation in Australia before. The win follows the entry of fellow US firm SCC Soft Computer into the local market last year, with its $42 million contract to replace the Ultra system used by Pathwest in WA.