Telstra buys Medinexus as DCA eHealth rebrands

Telstra Health has bought the Sydney-based Medinexus radiology and pathology secure messaging solution, adding to a growing portfolio of eHealth companies it has acquired since the division was established last year.

Telstra's head of health, Shane Solomon, said the company had acquired Medinexus earlier this month and looked forward “to the opportunities this provides for both parties”.

“We will be keeping the business operating as usual with the same staff and customer relationships as well as flagging our commitment to investing in the business to continue to improve the solution,” Mr Solomon said.

“We are continuing to acquire key capabilities in our e-Health strategy and will be providing a full update in coming weeks.”

One of those other capabilities is DCA eHealth Solutions, which Telstra acquired outright from DCA in August last year. DCA eHealth Solutions has now rebranded as HealthConnex in a move it says reflects its commitment to better integration of health services.

HealthConnex, which owns the Argus secure messaging service, aged and community care software package TCM, indigenous and community care clinical information system Communicare and the ConnectingCare point of care communications platform, also manages the National Health Services Directory (NHSD) on behalf of Healthdirect Australia.

It plans to release a new consumer-directed care version of TCM at the Health Informatics Conference in Melbourne next month, along with a new community telehealth solution.

Telstra first signalled its intentions in the healthcare sector with its investment in online directory and appointment booking service HealthEngine in May last year. That was followed by its purchase of DCA eHealth Solutions and a 50 per cent share in pharmacy software vendor Fred IT. It also invested in Verdi, the new name of acute care information access specialist IP Health.

Telstra also secured a licence to distribute the Dr Foster risk-adjusted quality measurement tool for hospitals in Australia, and it has an interest in personal health records through US company Get Real Health.

Mr Solomon told Pulse+IT last year that the plan was to build on Telstra's strengths in connectivity and secure data storage by assembling specialised eHealth capabilities in the areas of provider applications, telehealth, care co-ordination, consumer health portals, enabling technologies and data analytics.

“We have identified what we think are six really big-ticket issues in health and if you can put together the six capabilities, you can bring to the mainstream health system a solution,” he said.

Telstra Health's community care leads, former Victorian minister for health Bronwyn Pike and former Australian Home Care Services CEO Michael Boyce, told the Information Technology in Aged Care (ITAC) conference in Hobart last week that the company also plans to create a link between aged care, general practice and pharmacy software systems, and to ramp up its activity in the integrated telehealth market.

Medinexus is another addition to the portfolio. The Sydney-based company works with radiology and pathology practices and hospitals to deliver a view of diagnostic images and reports to referring doctors, partnering with secure messaging providers Argus, HealthLink and Medical-Objects.

It is integrated into GP and specialist practice management systems such as Best Practice, Medical Director, Zedmed, Genie, Shexie and Medtech. Allied health practitioners are also able to access reports and images directly from patient management systems, web browsers, mobile devices and tablets.

Diagnostic reports and images are securely stored in a data centre, not in the practitioner's system, and patients can also be given access by the radiology practice.

Posted in Australian eHealth

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