Internet heavies get behind health portals

LibertyOne, Eisa and US-based IT company Von Neumann have formed a joint venture to build health portals across the Asia-Pacific region.

Under the agreement, announced yesterday, Von Neumann will have a 40 per cent stake in the new company, to be known as Monet Asia Pacific, while LibertyOne and Eisa will each hold 30 per cent.

Built on Von Neumann's healthcare software architecture Monet, the joint venture expects to launch its first portal in Australia by the end of the year. With exclusive licences of Monet software and technologies in every major Asian market, including China, Taiwan, Japan, Pakistan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, portals will rolled be out the across the region from next year.

"We already have several hundred clients using Monet in the traditional sense, before the end of the year we expect to have a good number using the ASP service," said Alf Tornatore, Von Neumann's director of sales and marketing.

According to Tornatore, the Monet software will provide applications such as electronic registration and billing, scheduling, workflow management, electronic prescribing and comprehensive electronic health care management to clients via an application service provider model. Other features will include email, browsing, and file transfer capabilities for pathology and radiology reports, workflow and images.

Messaging and architecture capabilities developed by Von Neumann will interlink the B2B trade portals into a web-based ASP business, Tornatore said.

Internet service provider Eisa will provide the infrastructure required to run the portals and LibertyOne's web development arm, Zivo, will provide web integration and ecommerce solutions for the project.

According to Tornatore, Monet AP will initially target GPs for the first portal, but will also focus on medical specialists, hospital groups and other healthcare providers.

"Only 20 per cent of GPs are using PCs. This is a great opportunity to bring them up to the 21st century and take advantage of IT," he said.