Medtech set to launch 64-bit version with DrShop capability

Clinical and practice management software vendor Medtech is set to launch Medtech64, a 64-bit version of its clinical system featuring a native Windows look and feel as well as integration with the DrShop real-time prescription monitoring system.

DrShop, designed by prescription exchange service MediSecure to allow GPs to check through the software to see if a patient has been prescribed Schedule 8 or addictive Schedule 4 medications in the previous 90 days, is also due to be integrated with Best Practice.

Medtech's general manager for client engagement, Hosi Stankovic, said that as well as committing to a tight integration with DrShop, the company had decided to become a supporter of the new ScriptWise real-time prescription monitoring advocacy group, which has appointed Kim Ledger, father of the late actor Heath, as patron.

“We decided we'd sponsor important events such as the launch of ScriptWise, but clearly our involvement is with the technology component,” Mr Stankovic said. “[ScriptWise is] dealing with the people side – education, promotion and awareness.”

DrShop will be the main new feature of Medtech version 10.0, which has been upgraded from the current 32-bit platform to 64 bit to better reflect users' requirements for higher performance and more memory, he said.

“We've effectively gone to the more native Windows feel – the user interface will look different and work slightly better,” Mr Stankovic said. “It is cleaner and higher performing on the newer machines and servers.

“It will especially help our very large clients as well as smaller ones that use imaging, where the restrictions with memory are getting more and more prevalent. With image resolutions increasing, CDA documents growing in size and the number of users on the rise becoming a real challenge for the memory restrictions of 32 bit, Medtech64 will free these sites up for better performance and clinical service.”

Medtech plans to continue supporting the 32-bit platform and can release a 32-bit compatible version, but will make a decision based on individual customer requirements, he said.

“More and more of our customers already have 64 bit so it is going to be something that we discuss with individual customers. We'll do the transition in a progressive way. A number of businesses are saying we just want the fastest and the best, we want it hosted, we want cloud. For those customers who want something new and fresh and high performance, we'll just say here's the 64-bit version.

“We have hybrid versions – some doctors work at different sites and perhaps have slower connectivity – and there's nothing preventing them from using 32-bit client technology. However, it would be nice to support one, future-proof platform.”

The new Medtech64 is due for release in May, first as version 10.0 and then with a slightly upgraded v10.1 to follow.

“There will be an immediate and very noticeable difference to the look and feel, but for 10.0 we've decided to take a middle road,” he said.

“We don't want people who are already familiar with the product and are just looking for an upgrade path to not be able to move because of lack of familiarity, so we are giving them something that has refreshed icons, refreshed look and feel combined with higher performance and better controls, but the things they have been used to and they depend upon are still there.

“The 10.1 release will have quite a number of new features and the new platform allows us to introduce a newer user interface as a progressive step. If a site wishes to continue with the classic look they will be able to, with an alternative version more aligned with the familiar Windows look and feel. This also gives users the power to be able to run it on the Windows Surface Pro and similar tablets.”

Medtech is currently in testing for 10.0 with a generally available release due in May, and the company is also now doing clinical testing for DrShop with MediSecure. Mr Stankovic said the integration needed to be thoroughly audited by clinicians as it was a new workflow that had not been seen before.

In time, Medtech will release its Evolution version into the Australian market. The company is by far the market leader in New Zealand, where Evolution has been released to eventually replace Medtech32, but the Australian general practice sector requires far more integrations with third-party systems than does New Zealand, he said.

Posted in Australian eHealth

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