E-Health Insider’s industry news round up for the week ending 14 March 2008 featuring supplier news and product launches.

Supplier news

Ascribe post interim financial results

Ascribe’s chairman Stephen Critchlow, has unveiled a fall in pre-tax profits from £1.66m to just £812,000 during the six months to December 31 2007. Turnover fell from £7.5m to £7.1m. He said: “I am pleased with the group’s performance over the past six months, although the headline figures do obscure our rate of progress. Recognising that the second half bias in our business, due to the NHS’ April year end, has increased, we have built our order book to a record level and we continue to increase our market share.”

Wireless Healthcare launch new report

Wireless Healthcare has launched a new report, “Wireless eHealth Platforms”. The report identifies two main types of platforms; those, such as BlueAid, which are being built from the ground up as healthcare communications platforms and others, such as IBM’s WebSphere, which are conventional ecommerce platforms that can be customised to support ehealth applications. It notes that a number of IT vendors are keen to bring to the healthcare sector technologies and business processes that they have already used to increase efficiency and reduce costs within the financial services and travel industries.

NHS Choices Launches Interactive Smoking Calculator

NHS Choices has launched a new smoking calculator that will allow users to see both the physical and financial cost of smoking in one simple tool. Based on NHS accredited information, the interactive calculator enables users to not only see the positive impact of quitting – totting up how much you could save over one to ten years – but also highlights dramatically through graphic images the negative effects of not stopping.

COA Solutions acquires Belmin Group

COA Solutions (formerly CedarOpenAccounts) has announced the acquisition of UK eProcurement solutions and services specialist, Belmin Group. Belmin’s eProcurement software will enhance COA Solutions’ Smart Business Suite, which comprises a portfolio of finance, human resource, payroll, procurement, business intelligence and document management solutions. Belmin’s software is used by 100,000 users across a range of public sector organisations. This includes over seventy-five NHS hospitals, enabling COA Solutions to develop an even closer relationship with the UK health sector.

Epson encourages health sector to participate in new recycling programme

A new Return&Recycle programme for Epson cartridges has been launched and the firm is encouraging health services to make use of it. It is extending its current collection programme by launching a toner cartridge Return&Recycle programme as part of its ongoing commitment to offer greener printing solutions to its customers. This new toner cartridge return and recycling scheme will ensure users of all Epson laser printers are able to reduce their impact on the environment.

Product launches

Honeywell launch document imaging solution for retail pharmacies

Honeywell has announced the availability of the 4800dr Document Reader, designed to digitise hard-copy documents for paperless processing, storage and retrieval. An alternative to page scanners, the 4800dr is optimised for applications that require documents to be imaged at the point of entering a workflow. In the retail pharmacy environment, the 4800dr captures images of items commonly processed as hard copies, including prescriptions and insurance cards.

Acceleware launch the AxRecon Image Reconstruction Solution

Acceleware, a developer of acceleration solutions for high-performance computing, has announced the launch of its AxRecon image reconstruction solution for the medical imaging, security, and non-destructive testing markets. Acceleware says its software reduces the time required to complete this work from hours to minutes to speed up the imaging workflow.

BT launch Pharmaceutical Records and Information Management

BT Global Services has launched Pharmaceutical Records and Information Management (PRIM) to help firms reduce costs and time to market with more efficient and productive information management strategies. The PRIM solution enables firms to rationalise their information infrastructure to reduce operational costs and share information assets across the world. It will allow firms to focus on innovation by investing in the R&D pipeline to speed up time to market for new drugs and maximise limited periods of patent protection, they added.