Dalcon and C7 Technologies put new alliance in context
By Milt Capps Updated 7:37 a.m.
The recently announced alliance between C7 Technologies and Dalcon Communications allows C7 to commercialize proven healthcare technology without diluting C7's focus on serving its parent, Vanguard Health Systems, said C7 CEO Bobby Addison.
Simultaneously, Dalcon's exclusive worldwide license to market and support C7's new Continuum technology should give Dalcon's product line sharply greater relevance in the eyes of care providers and a stronger role in the ecosystem of electronic health records and interrelated information systems, said Dalcon founder and CEO David Condra. Continuum has been in beta use within Vanguard for two years and is being rolled-out only via Dalcon.
Addison said his team has other products in its pipeline, but is still weighing how much exposure to give those other innovations, given that Vanguard is C7's only direct customer. C7 and Dalcon will collaborate on future Continuum developments and C7 staff are available for consultation with Dalcon, Addison confirmed. C7's first website is expected to go live within a few weeks, after C7 decides how much to reveal about its products, he explained.
Prior to becoming C7's CEO, Addison was Vanguard's director of application technology services. Earlier, he was a senior developer within Vanderbilt University Medical Center, according to information online.
C7's interest in forging more relationships with companies such as Dalcon is limited, but real, Addison explained, stressing the company is likely to pursue only opportunities of strong "strategic" value, and would only be centered on technologies that will help Vanguard address the new era of healthcare technology.
Asked how Continuum will affect Dalcon's business prospects, Condra noted the industry faces an imperative of "Y2K" proportions, in the form of the federally driven imperative of achieving "meaningful use" of health information technologies. Thus, he said, "from a timing standpoint, [the C7 deal] is very significant" for Dalcon, strengthening Dalcon's position as a "communications hub for patient care." Most other systems that are being pressed into service to address alerting needs require care providers to check-in at a workstation of some sort, whereas the Dalcon-C7 toolbox sends alerts to staff wherever they are, Condra emphasized.
Dalcon, which currently markets only Dalcon Alert to acute-care hospitals, is exploring other opportunities to license complementary technologies, although marketing the Dalcon Alert patient notification system remains the companies strategic priority, Condra said. Asked whether Dalcon has designs on international business, he confirmed Dalcon is in early stages of talks with potential distributors in Australia, the Middle East and Europe.
C7, which is little more than a year old and operates in the manner of an affiliate rather than as a line operating unit of Vanguard, is tasked with providing innovative technological solutions in support of Vanguard healthcare systems, Addison stressed. Year-old C7 has four dedicated employees, as well as numerous contractors, he said.
Dalcon in-room monitoring and nurse communications and alert technologies, now augmented by Continuum's information-integration capacity produce "progressively intensive alerts" when actual patient care varies from required care, signalling nurses and bedside care providers they need to act to remedy a situation, according to the companies' release.
Dalcon, a 32-year-old firm that has evolved over the years, is privately held by Condra and other investors whom he declined to identify. Condra is a past president of the Nashville Technology Council and was a co-founder of Nashville Capital Network, an Angel investors group. VNC