The electronic medicine cabinet is nearer than you think

6 Nov 2008

An electronic barcode system could revolutionise drugs prescriptions and drive major savings on a nationwide basis, it emerged today.

Helix Health is now investigating the scale of potential savings that could be made by the introduction of this electronic barcode system nationally, following a successful trial in Waterford.

Many European countries have already successfully introduced electronic transmission of prescription (ETP) technology on a nationwide basis.

“The issue of ETP technology is increasingly topical, as we believe its adoption can deliver significant savings for the Department of Health, as well as increase patient safety,” said Howard Beggs, chief executive of Helix Health.

Helix has appointed the former Minister for e-Government and Information Society Tom Kitt to its board to drive Helix Health’s e-health agenda, particularly in relation to ETP technology.

“The appointment of Deputy Kitt to the board will add considerable experience to Helix Health, and re-inforce our efforts to deliver the best patient outcomes as well as reducing costs. I am delighted to welcome him to the company, and am confident that his strategic input will assist Helix Health in achieving our goals in 2009,” Beggs concluded.

Helix Health is Ireland’s largest provider of information and communications technology to the healthcare sector in Ireland with some 60pc of GP’s and consultants using its products, 80pc of hospital pharmacies and 65pc of retail pharmacies. It also serves a number of significant customers in the UK in health screening, pharmacy and online pharmacy.

Deputy Kitt will join the board alongside other non-executive directors including Peter Murray (chairman with over 20 years’ experience in investment management and venture capital), Lar Bradshaw (managing director of McKinsey Ireland since 1995), Dr Maurice Cox (former partner in McKinsey and co-founder of The Well primary healthcare practice in Dublin) and Nick Strong (former MD of Systems Solutions).

Deputy Kitt takes up his position on the board of Helix Health with immediate effect, and will provide strategic advice on all e-health issues relating to public policy.

As former Minister for State of the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, he will also provide input on how to utilise the company’s international dimension.

By John Kennedy

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years