Tech Update

• qmed (Laurence Harbor, NJ) reported a net loss of $2.6 million, 26 cents per share, in FY98 ended Nov. 30, compared to a net loss of $2.8 million, 29 cents per share, in FY97. Revenues were $2.04 million in FY98, compared to $2.4 million in FY97. President/CEO Michael Cox said the managed care industry’s acceptance of the company’s ohms/cad disease management system is not reflected in the results, but that it should appear in 2Q99. "While our cost containment efforts did narrow the loss year-over-year, our emphasis continues to be the building of our business which should be visible in announcements of several new contracts we expect in the next few months." In other news, qmed announced last week that all medical devices either manufactured or distributed by the company have been validated free of date format problems for 2000. Its ohms/cad system was designed to be fully compliant, qmed officials said. In addition, qmed has appointed David Feldman to its board of directors as chairman. Feldman is the director of a number of mutual funds in the Dreyfus Group and of Heitman Financial. He replaces Howard Waltman, who has been chairman since June 1996.

• Tenet Healthcare (Santa Barbara, CA) has decided to outsource the operation of its data network to Perot Systems (Dallas), allowing the company to run a centralized shared environment. For instance, it can run its home healthcare program on a central RS/6000. Its individual agencies, even the small sites where it would have been too costly to set up, can access it. "We can repeat that story over and over again," said Tenet CIO Stephen Brown. "We pick a solid, scalable technology and then structure it so it can be offered at a cost-point lower than any individual facility could acquire it for," he told InfoWorld.

• Technology Transfer (Lafayette, IN) has already sold 400 of its new, pocket-sized heart monitors, called the Personal Arrhythmia Monitor (PAM). Home health companies like PAM because patients don’t have to go to the hospital. Instead, nurses can pass printouts to doctors, reported the Indianapolis Star. The monitor can be used to track how drugs affect the heart. It is essentially a one-pound electrocardiogram machine.

• AutoData Systems (Minneapolis, MN), a division of Electro-Sensors and 3M Home Health Systems (Elmhurst, IL), have formed a partnership to provide automated data collection solutions for home care agencies. 3M will sell scanning solutions created by AutoData. The solutions allow home care agencies to meet regulatory requirements. 3M will also integrate the software into its Datacron Home Care Management System software. It will give agencies the ability to someday have fully automated patient data entry.