by John R. Fischer
, Senior Reporter | December 07, 2017
Royal Philips has acquired Forcare in an effort to provide more effective, seamlessly integrated informatics solutions for improving clinical workflow, enhancing patient care, and optimizing enterprise management.
The purchase will combine the capabilities of Philips’ advanced clinical informatics solutions with those of Forcare’s interoperability platform to strengthen connections among hospitals and health systems, in order to ensure the efficient delivery of patient information.
“We see the need for better interoperability for hospitals and health systems, and so do our customers,” Yair Briman, business leader of health care informatics at Philips, told HCB News. “The lack of connectivity between various medical systems, such as imaging systems and information management systems is, in fact, one of the main concerns of hospital CIOs. We have looked at different interoperability technologies, and we believe that Forcare's interoperability platform is the most advanced solution in the industry. We were already working with them, and we were impressed by the maturity, stability and scalability of their technology, as well as the service and implementation skills.”
The deal will provide greater scale and reach to Forcare, with Philips ensuring that employees are able to continue working.
In exchange, the complementary capabilities of Forcare’s interoperability platform will be applied toward strengthening the communication of information among providers alongside informatics technology designed by Philips’ for data, visualization, workflow and interoperability purposes, including its IntelliSpace Universal Data Manager, IntelliSpace PACS, Illumeo and IntelliBridge Enterprise solutions.
Briman says consolidation is a growing trend throughout the health care industry, and that along with the complexity of bringing together different providers is a need for information to be communicated amongst them in a manner that guarantees quality patient care.
“Consolidation is happening worldwide, and we expect that this will accelerate as hospitals and health systems are seeking efficiencies by gaining scale,” he said. “This means that there are many different hospitals with many different systems within a health system. It will be very expensive to switch to standard systems, and therefore the implementation of an interoperability platform will be key to connectivity and information sharing.”
Philips recently extended a multi-year partnership with Banner Health that included the adoption of its PerformanceBridge Practice to help Banner increase its clinical capabilities in radiology and improve care for patients.
In addition to Forcare, Philips has also acquired health information exchanges (HIEs) across health systems.
No financial details were disclosed.