Avia Health Informatics has announced the acquisition of clinical decision support specialists Plain Healthcare.

Avia Health informatics has been set up to invest in health technology companies. It said the investment in Plain Healthcare would allow it to develop its products further and faster. The Plain Software Company was admitted to trading on AIM last week.

Avia said more than 60% of primary care trust commissioning out-of-hours services in England use Plain Healthcare’s Odyssey software. It also said it expected this number to grow with the development of a .NET version of Odyssey.

Barry Giddings, chairman of Avia Health Informatics, said Plain had significant growth potential and was an operational platform on which Avia could build through organic growth and via acquisition.

He added: “Health informatics is a fast-moving, growing market with a large number of small, underfunded businesses, many with excellent products and intellectual property but without the commercial support to realise their potential.”

The acquisition of Plain Healthcare follows the announcement last week that ACS, another firm set up to acquire health IT companies, has made another acquisition, this time of GP and hospice software supplier Healthy Software.

Avia also announced this week that Plain had been awarded a contract by the Aneurin Bevan Local Health Board in Wales to provide both Odyssey TeleAssess and Odyssey Reception decision support tools to their service.

The health board’s out of hours service covers approximately 700,000 patients in Cardiff and Merthyr Tydfil.

Giddings said: “This initial contract, although modest in terms of the company’s revenues, is a strategic one. We expect the service to grow over the coming years as we work in partnership to develop and support the provision of healthcare throughout Wales.”