Imprivata, the healthcare IT security and access management company, has acquired identity management firm Caradigm from GE Health for an undisclosed sum.

In an interview with Digital Health News, Imprivata CEO Gus Malezis said Caradigm was a close fit with Imprivata.

“It’s very much aligned with core market of Healthcare IT with a collection of solutions that provide efficiency, productivity and security.”

Speaking from San Francisco he indicated that Caradigm’s UK customers should expect to see an improved service as a result of the deal

“There have been some recent changes in the UK for Caradigm customers,” Malezis said.  “GE made the UK Caradigm team redundant prior to the deal closing, but we will be but we will now be investing in both solutions and customer support and expect to step up customer service.”

Malezis said that while there was cross over Imprivata would continue to support Caradigm product lines “customers will be supported on either platforms”.

He stressed that for Imprivata the UK and NHS is a key market.  “The UK is our second largest market in the world.  It’s also our base of operations for activity in EMEA and the rest of the world.  It’s a big deal for us.”

Imprivata was acquired by a private equity firm just over a year ago and Malezis says that phase one has been about stablisiation and getting the company back into the black

“It’s about being smart with our investments, and the company had been spending a little more freely in the past.”

Imprivata was now looking further ahead.  “Phase 2 is charting what that future is for customer on 3-7 year horizon and understanding what problems they want to solve with us.  We’re going this now and spending a lot of time with customers including NHS.  This acquisition is part of that process.”

Malezis said that customers are already starting to see new capabilities made available, in areas including ubiquitous access, cloud and mobility.

He added: “Location services is an area we are really focused on, with buildings becoming location aware.”

Increasingly, Imprivata has positioned itself as a security company, Malezis himself come from a 20-year career in cyber security before joining Imprivata.  Asked how we would characterise the cyber challenges faced by the NHS he says the clock is against the NHS.

“While we saw that Wannacry had a bigger impact in UK had probably under-invested in cyber security controls – just a function of how the clock works and I literally mean the clock. These threats like Wannacry emanate from somewhere in the Far East, and as people wake up and switch on their computers the malware propagates – that’s the reality of cyber security warriors.”

And where the UK is in the world’s time zones means that it gets hit before the US.  “The UK was hit comparatively hard, by the time the UK hit the US is awake and implemented counter measures.”

While security underpins Imprivata’s services its key value lies in productivity benefits, Malezis told Digital Health News, responding to questions about the significant investment costs of its solutions.

“Imprivata has done a lot of work on security and productivity.  Our customers have demonstrated how access and sign-on solutions have helped them becoming 8-10% more efficient.  Doctors and nurses recover 45-minutes of their day back.  In some cases up to an hour back.”

Even putting aside security, that’s a real value proposition and the acquisition of Caradigm gives us the scale and help presence to help customers achieve that kind of ROI.

Caradign which began life as Sentillion before being acquired by Microsoft and then became part of the Microsoft/GE Caradigm joint venture, provides a range of identity and access management solutions, focused on security and productivity to over 100 healthcare organisations globally.