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First ‘pharmacovigilance’ center launched in India

Accenture and Bristol-Myers Squibb Company have together launched the pharmaceutical industry’s first ‘pharmacovigilance’ center, in Chennai, India, to monitor safety of data collected on medicines.

Pharmacovigilance entails the capture, assessment and reporting of potential side effects on medicines. The new center will undertake the processing and coding of adverse event data and the generation of regulatory periodic and aggregate reports on safety as well as physician medical review of adverse events.

The opening of the center, marks the first time a collaboration for ‘end-to-end’ safety case processing has been established. The center promises seamless handling of data and reports between Accenture and Bristol-Myers Squibb while not compromising patient safety.

The pharmacovigilance center, to be operated by more than 140 Accenture employees, is part of Accenture’s Life Sciences Centers of Excellence in Bangalore and Chennai that Bristol-Myers Squibb already utilizes.

SRIT forms a Joint Venture HealthCare ICT Company in China

Sobha Renaissance Information Technology (SRIT), a Bangalore based global software products and solutions provider, recently announced the setting up of a joint venture (JV) company in China called Sunpa Sobha Software (China) Ltd  with ‘Yunnan Sunpa Image Tel Tech Co. Ltd (Sunpa)’ as its JV partner. Headquartered in Kunming, Sunpa Sobha Software (China) Ltd. will have operating branches in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen.
This is SRIT’s first JV foray into the Chinese Market and possibly the first JV between the two countries in the realm of Healthcare ICT (Information & Communications Technology).

Sunpa is a world-class telemedicine ‘Products, Solutions and Services’ company that develops, integrates and produces a series of patented equipments & peripherals for Telemedicine, PACS and Tele-education. They execute key projects under the Chinese Government’s National Hi-tech Development Program, and are recipients of their Central Government’s second best award among the top-100 state-level prize-winning hi-tech projects.

Dr. Madhu Nambiar, Founder, MD & CEO SRIT has reportedly said that although the initial capitalization of the joint-venture is US$ 1 million, the joint-venture estimates increase of capitalization to US$20million in the next couple of years. .

Norwest will venture beyond IT to healthcare and retail in India

Kurt L Betcher, administrative partner and chief financial officer of Norwest Venture Partners (NVP), and his colleague and general partner Robert B Abbott were recently in India.

Betcher’s focus was on the logistics of setting up and running an office in India, while Abbott, was looking for investment opportunities in the country, beyond the realm of technology that NVP had so far restricted itself to.

Though the Palo Alto-based company’s presence has been felt in India since late 2003, with frequent visits and the occasional investment made by managing partner Promod Haque and general partner Vab Goel, the latest visit is significant. It indicates the continued commitment of VC firms like NVP to India and the opportunities they see in the country.

After pursuing only technology and technology-related companies till now (NVP has invested in five Indian companies and in 22 companies that have an India linkage), the venture capital firm now feels that healthcare and retail are ripe to explore..

Battle Between Google and Microsoft Could Trigger Revolution in Healthcare

Wireless Healthcare, an independent UK based analysts specialising in the application of mobile and wireless technology in the healthcare sector, says that Google and Microsoft, knowing that a large number of Internet searches are health related, are actively attempting to build a presence in the healthcare sector.

According to them, informed patients who have ‘googled’ their symptoms could gain access to their genetic profile and manage their health using an online patient record.

Wireless Healthcare believes that Google’s recent investment in the genetic profiling company 23andMe and Microsoft’s purchase of the intelligent medical search company Medstory could lead to the emergence of services that are highly disruptive within the healthcare market.

They see it as the emergence of a new ehealth model that challenges some of the assumptions made by existing online healthcare providers and medical device manufacturers.

Telehealth market to witness surge

New research by Datamonitor says, drive to cut costs while improving medical care is set to drive the worth of the telehealth market to $8 billion (

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