Yesterday, Phillips announced that it will acquire Irish-based healthcare software provider TOMCAT Systems, Ltd. for an undisclosed sum. TOMCAT, based in Belfast with about 25 employees, offers a well-regarded cardiovascular information system (CVIS) software package that should fit nicely in the existing Philips cardiovascular portfolio. What I find particularly intriguing though is that TOMCAT is a specialty specific EMR/PM software package and to date, Philips has been reluctant to get into the EMR market. Could this signal a change at Philips? Will other EMR acquisitions by Philips be forthcoming?
This is a cardio-specific EMR/PM platform. Such department specific solutions often are difficult to support over time and can become another information silo if they are not full integrated with the host EMR system that a hospital may be using. But today, it is the doctors and surgeons who rule the roost and most often a CIO must accept and adapt to the adoption of disparate solutions such as this. Philips undoubtedly understands this and may be looking to take this approach in doing an end run around large monolithic EMR solutions, such as those from their big competitors, Siemens and GE Medical. Time will tell.
As I looked at the TOMCAT model there was one big piece I found missing: Where is the connection to data coming from implantable devices once a patient is discharged? The first 60 days after discharged are the most critical to monitor. Boston Scientific realized that and developed of is telehealth remote monitoring solution, Latitude. In the fall of last year, GE partnered with Boston Scientific to have Latitude data feed directly into a patient’s record in their EMR solution Centricity. This partnership’s exclusivity is soon to expire. Maybe Philips should start a conversation with Boston Scientific.