Servelec has acquired Aura Healthcare, a software developer set up by two former senior figures in iSoft (now CSC).

Servelec, which developed and sells the RiO and Oceano electronic patient records, will pay £900,000 for £1,121,000 of debt held by Aura and just £1 for equity. There is a maximum further consideration of £350,000 based on performance over a three-year period ending April 2018.

Aura was created in 2012 by Adrian Stevens, former managing director of iSoft UK, and Mark Hindle, former professional services director at iSoft, the company behind the Lorenzo EPR.

This was meant to be introduced in all NHS trusts in the North, Midlands and East before the dissolution of the National Programme for IT.

The company’s main products include Flow, a piece of software intended to support the control of bed management and patient flow across hospitals, clinics and primary care centres.

The software is used in several hospitals in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, including Galway University Hospitals and the Southern Health and Social Care Trust.

Aura’s other products include Note, a clinical noting solution that works on any computer or mobile device, and CloudView.

This is described on Aura’s website as the “first true ‘healthcare cloud’” to provide the secure sharing of date between secondary care providers, community based services and the patient. Aura also acquired Immix Health in January 2013, adding a clinical portal to its portfolio.

Servelec’s chief executive Alan Stubbs told Digital Health News that the main reason for the acquisition was the need to acquire a bed management system to support its Oceano acute EPR, developed in partnership with University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust.

He said that the company always knew it needed an “Oceano plus”, as some of the prescribing information and communications system available at University Hospitals Birmingham could not be replicated at other trusts.

The need to put such an offer in place has become critical because Servelec is targeting several trusts in the NME region, where national contracts for EPRs come to a close in July 2016.

After studying the market, Servelec determined that bed management was the biggest area it was missing. The company then had a chance encounter at a prospective trust client that had been visited a few days earlier by Aura.

The trust told Servelec about Aura’s Flow software. Stubbs said that his sales director “came bounding into my office and said – we need to buy this product.”

Flow will be integrated into both Oceano and Servelec’s community EPR, RiO, which Stubbs said will give his company an edge in the competitive NME region.

Stubbs told Digital Health News last month that his company is targeting 22 larger community sites that are currently served by TPP’s SystmOne as potential users of its RiO EPR as well as several acute sites currently using CSC’s iSoft.

Servelec will also continue to sell Flow, Note and CloudView as standalone products that do not require the use of either Oceano or RiO.

Adrian Stevens is set to retire, while Mark Hindle will serve as managing director of Aura, reporting to Servelec.