© Stockhead AustraliaCompanies are positioning for growth as the global healthcare sector continues to digitise
Almost no modern workplaces are immune from the effects of digitisation and data analytics.
From mining to fintech, building out proprietary data sets is now viewed as an important competitive advantage.
Healthcare is another sector where organisations are moving to leverage data insights, with companies such as the ASX-listed Alcidion (ASX:ALC) positioning for growth in the sector.
However, the rollout often has a slower uptake than other industries, due in part to stricter regulatory oversight.
Alcidion CEO Kate Quirke spoke with Stockhead last week, on the back of the company's $16.2m capital raise.
Quirke said the funds would be deployed as part of a critical year of strategic investment as Alcidion positions to take advantage of the ongoing digital shift.
"The theme that's driven our business - and the broader sector for healthcare IT - in the last 5-10 years has been about digitising patient data," Quirke said.
"Getting into a format so we can then use it to drive data insights. Analytics is where it's at - using information to transform the way we do things in health."
"Other industries have gone down that path faster because they accelerated the digitisation of underlying data."
The industry-oversight mechanisms set up around healthcare means growth in the sector can vary between jurisdictions depending on the regulatory backdrop.
On that front, Quirke said the US is further along the path than other developed markets, due in part to the healthcare legislation introduced by the Obama administration earlier this decade.
Those laws mandated that all US hospitals need to maintain an electronic record of information. That's helped move the infrastructure ahead of markets such as Australia and the UK, although the difference "isn't huge".
However, "because they've got this developed underlying data set, companies are investing in insights on top of that. So where the US might've had 95 per cent penetration, here in Australia we're still at about 60-70 per cent", Quirke said.
"So it's still a good size market to pursue, and we're seeing the same themes where people are wanting to use hospital data and draw insights to change the way we deliver healthcare - make it more safe and efficient."
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For its part, Alcidion is looking to deploy its products across multiple markets as the landscape continues to develop.
That includes the UK, where the company's July 2018 acquisition of the Patrientrack management system provided a foothold in a suite of NHS hospitals where it now has a platform to introduce new products, such as its core Miya Precision analytics software.
And despite the more advanced nature of the US market, Quirke said the company recently attended a healthcare IT conference there which left her confident of the potential for future partnership agreements.
"One of my reasons for that trip was to assess the competitive landscape, and I think one of our key differentiators is that we push our data insights out to our doctors and end users via mobile. My assessment is there's no one in the US market doing it quite like we are," Quirke said.
"Ultimately, we've established our platform in the UK, Australia and New Zealand. We've proven out our business model in those markets."
"So the key driver of the cap raise is we now believe we've got the platform and the proof-of-concept that will allow us to ramp up sales and realise returns more quickly."
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