Pioneering software ordered by major Arabian Gulf hospital

The Belfast subsidiary of the global healthcare corporation Philips Healthcare, has won a £300,000 contract to supply its leading-edge cardiac management software to a major hospital in the Arabian Gulf following an Invest Northern Ireland trade mission.

The Belfast company, previously known as Tomcat Systems before its acquisition by Royal Dutch Philips earlier this year, is installing its software at the Zayed Military Hospital in Abu Dhabi, part of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The contract, the company’s first in the Gulf, was secured following leads identified during the Invest NI mission to markets in the oil rich region, including Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

The company’s latest contract for its software for hospital cardiac units was announced by John Neeson, International Marketing Manager of Philips Healthcare in Belfast, and welcomed by Alan Hingston, Invest NI’s Trade Director.

Said Mr Neeson: “The contract with such a prestigious client as the Zayed Military Hospital gives us an important platform in a market which remains among the world’s most buoyant. The contract is also a tremendous endorsement of our software by a leading cardiac centre in the Gulf and gives us an important reference site.

“The Gulf, furthermore, is a region where significant investment is being made in healthcare IT and great opportunities exist for companies offering the latest technology.

“The Invest NI trade mission enabled us to identify an agent that met our requirements and to demonstrate our unique solution for cardiac management to several potential clients. We are also now following up other leads that have developed since the mission.

“The interest shown in the Gulf region in our technology solutions is immensely encouraging and we will be devoting the necessary time and resources to expand our business there,” he added.

Mr Hingston said: “This Belfast technology company is the latest in a series of local businesses to use our trade mission programme to pinpoint and exploit new market opportunities. While markets in the US and Europe are currently experiencing difficulties because of the credit crunch, others in the Middle East, India and China are still growing strongly.

“Saudi Arabia, of course, has a huge earnings surplus from high oil prices and maintaining GDP growth of around five per cent. The surplus is being invested in the development of infrastructure projects and in other areas including healthcare. As a result, the country has some of the best-equipped and staffed hospitals and clinics in the world. Our technology and development centre in Dubai can be used for advice and expertise about Saudi Arabia and other Gulf markets.

“India, a market in which we recently opened a trade and investment office, is also continuing to experience annual GDP growth of around nine per cent. Clearly there are opportunities for our companies, both large and small, to grow their sales and to offset difficulties in more established markets,” he added.

Twenty five people are employed at the company’s technology centre in Belfast’s Titanic Quarter. Prior to its acquisition by Philips earlier this year, the company had developed a substantial business and an impressive reputation with major cardiac care units at many of the most respected hospitals in the UK and Ireland, including the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast. It is now working closely with the global network of Philips offices to expand sales in other target export markets including North America