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Philips plans to acquire Visicu to strengthen clinical IT activities

Philips Medical Systems : 18 December, 2007  (New Product)
Philips is offering to acquire the entire share capital of Visicu for $12.00 per Visicu share as part of a merger agreement with the Baltimore-based clinical IT and service provider.
By integrating Visicu's remote patient monitoring and clinical decision support technology with Philips' patient monitors, both companies expect to accelerate growth by offering products that provide more effective clinical decision support to hospital staff, while allowing them to monitor far greater numbers of critically ill patients. The board of directors of Visicu has approved the transaction and has recommended that Visicu shareholders vote their shares in favour of the merger.

Based in Baltimore, Maryland, USA, Visicu is a leader in clinical IT systems that enable critical care medical staff to actively monitor patients in hospital intensive care units (ICUs) from remote locations. The company's patented clinical IT system, called the eICU Program, provides real time, 24x7 patient monitoring in ICUs, and can be likened to an air-traffic controller's station by centrally networking critical care physicians and nurses to ICU beds using voice and video. Equipped with artificial intelligence algorithms, the system also offers advance clinical support. The eICU Program has been shown to significantly reduce patient mortality, length of stay, and medical complications while lowering ICU costs.

Steve Rusckowski, CEO of Philips Healthcare said: 'Today's deal builds on Philips' announcement two weeks ago that we're acquiring another clinical IT company, Emergin. Philips is a market leader in patient monitoring systems in the hospital, so we know the challenges our customers face – rising patient numbers, staff shortages and concerns about patient safety.

By investing in clinical IT solutions like those offered by Visicu and Emergin, we believe we can offer customers more attractive patient monitoring solutions that improve hospital productivity as well as patient outcomes. So making these investments we believe will drive further growth in our patient monitoring business.'

Visicu 's eICU Program can track ICU patients at various hospitals, and provides continuous monitoring of patient vitals signs, medications, labs and early-warning alarms – known as 'Smart Alerts' – which are triggered by deviations in a patients’ vital signs based on their admitting or current diagnosis. ‘Smart Alerts’ use embedded algorithms and protocols to send warning signals to physicians and nurses to provide early medical intervention and optimal care.

The eICU Program also supplements hospitals’ critical care staff by allowing them to increase the number of ICU patients monitored by a factor of 15. The clinical and financial benefits of the eICU Program have resulted in several affiliated hospitals electing to expand their eICU Program to serve smaller regional and rural hospitals outside of their network.

Visicu chairman and CEO, Frank T Sample said: 'At Visicu, we have a long and successful track record of developing innovative solutions to enhance the delivery of patient care within the ICU resulting in significant improvements in clinical outcomes and saving more lives. We’re excited to be teaming up with Philips – a global leader in patient monitoring – as it will give us the opportunity to build on Philips’ extensive market presence to grow beyond our current focus on the ICU and US market. As a result the Board will recommend approving the merger to our shareholders.'

Founded in 1998, Visicu has a staff of approximately 100, which includes clinicians, software developers, sales and client services personnel.

Upon completion of the acquisition, Philips intends to capitalise on its extensive sales channel network to accelerate Visicu’s adoption by ICUs at US hospitals, while extending Visicu’s activities internationally and migrating its technologies into other departments within the hospital. Philips believes Visicu’s and Emergin’s clinical IT capabilities will also accelerate growth in its existing patient monitoring business.
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