iSoft Deutschland has strengthened its position in Russia’s growing healthcare market after forming a distribution agreement for laboratory information systems (LIS).

The company has signed a deal with ML Park of Moscow to distribute and support iSoft’s LIS. Russia’s health technology market is said to offer huge potential and be set for rapid growth.

iSoft, an IBA Health company, has a reference installation of its LabCentre LIS at private laboratory chain KDL Test, which has laboratories in Moscow, Omsk, Perm, and Krasnodar. LabCentre was fully translated into Russian for KDL test.

“We found the application was very well received by our customers,” Peter Herrmann, managing director, iSoft Deutschland, told E-Health Europe. “As a result we sought out a partner to expand into Russia.”

Herrmann said: “Through our partnership with ML Park we can support our Russian laboratory customers locally and develop systems to meet local needs.”

He added that an early presence in the fast-growing Russian market was “absolutely essential”. “For us this will be the basis for more efficient market cultivation and a fast and wide market penetration with our solutions.”

Herrmann said ML Park’s knowledge of laboratory systems and the private LIS market in Russia would prove invaluable in establishing a support organisation.

The iSoft Deutschland MD told EHE that at this stage ML Park was the company’s only Russian partner, but said other early stage discussions were underway. “We’re exploring more opportunities in the Russian market, radiology information systems would be another opportunity for us.”

Core elements of the agreement are the distribution, implementation and support of iSoft’s LabCentre product, installed in over 270 labs in Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Russia. The product is a full-graphic integrated system, covering clinical laboratory, blood donation and microbiology.

iSoft says the Russian market for medical technology is worth US$2bn, growing at 15% per annum. In 2007 a ‘National Health Programme’, was initiated by President Putin that will invest US$1.7bn to build 15 specialised health centres.