For more than 20 years, the US-based software firm InterSystems has been innovating digital healthcare solutions from its European base in the Netherlands. Through collaboration in the Dutch life sciences and health ecosystem, InterSystems is helping to advance e-health in the Netherlands and Europe.
InterSystems is a global supplier of digital care platforms, electronic patient records (EPD), and integration software. The company is a pioneer in the field and it works closely with doctors and physicians to develop its expertise. InterSystems is well-connected to the healthcare ecosystem in the Netherlands through long-standing partnerships with companies such as Epic, a software developer for various UMCs and hospitals in the Netherlands.
Knowledge sharing to accelerate innovation
According to Robert Eggermont, COO of the company’s Dutch operation in Utrecht, the Netherlands offers a great location for pioneers in digital health solutions. Local market knowledge gives InterSystems in the Netherlands the lead over competitors that are investing heavily in healthcare. ‘The healthcare market in every European country, also here in the Netherlands, is complicated. We know exactly what we need in a specific market. The healthcare market is the most complex that there is – much more complex than finance or logistics.’
Technological advances and data generated in the field of digital health create a world of new possibilities. At the same time, data ownership, management, and security pose challenges. Traditionally, healthcare institutions had considerable money tied up in software and hardware that required to be renewed regularly to stay abreast of new technology. Today, migration to cloud-based systems and subscription-based services allows caregivers more flexibility. It also contributes to better returns on investment, which is important as healthcare budgets everywhere are under pressure.
Having a local base in the Netherlands means being able to validate new concepts, Eggermont said. The Netherlands is traditionally an effective test market for novel solutions such as digital health applications. Due to the country’s strong push to keep healthcare affordable through innovation, the health system is quick to adopt new (digital) technologies.
Towards improving patient care
InterSystems is helping to build vital infrastructure for patient data exchange in the Netherlands. The company is currently ramping up the roll-out of a new program introduction related to a national digital patient consent system in the Netherlands, LSP (Landelijk Schakelpunt). Via a secure login, patients can grant consent for their data to be used by various healthcare providers, such as a doctor at a hospital or a home carer. With a drive to promote care in the home for as long as possible, this is a significant hurdle.
InterSystems is collaborating with partners who are deeply integrated in the Dutch healthcare ecosystem, such as Mediq. Eggermont also foresees considerable potential in future collaborations with drug developers
That’s why a central location in the Netherlands is beneficial. ‘Utrecht region is a great base for us due to its position as a central health hub in the Netherlands,’ Eggermont added. ‘The region contains a high concentration of hospitals and the Conference Center, the Jaarbeurs attracts many (inter)national healthcare events such as the Mobile Healthcare congress and Zorg en ICT.’
‘Due to the excellent connectivity, our engineers are able to reach all our clients across the Netherlands with relative ease. Both the cities of Utrecht and Amsterdam are great places to receive our colleagues from the US and our clients,’ Eggermont said.
InterSystem’s base product is a development platform called IRIS for Health – for storing, sharing, and accessing data within the healthcare sector and it currently caters to some 40 million patients worldwide. InterSystems’ partners in software development can develop a solution on IRIS which they can market as a service. They utilize the software from InterSystems, build customer-specific applications and locate it in a private cloud, or the Amazon cloud for gated access.
‘Ten years from now, I think that half of the customer base will be running in the cloud,’ asserts Eggermont. ‘It’s a huge step – reducing all the hardware in the hospitals and migrating to the cloud. We are now preparing for this ‘new wave’ in the market, following the trend already happening in the US.’
Our customers can get our software as a service, which is an important development. They just want to use the software, and they don’t want the burden of the hardware, data and maintenance.’ Eggermont explains.
InterSystems has been assisted over the years by the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency and the regional economic development agency Utrecht Region, both partners in the national Invest in Holland network, supporting the company to become a dynamic participant in the vibrant Dutch digital health ecosystem.
InterSystems is headquarterd in Cambridge, Massachusetts and has 30 offices and around 1800 employees worldwide. It has been pioneering digital healthcare solutions since 1987 and currently caters to some 40 million patients worldwide. From its EU base in Utrecht, InterSystems serves fourteen European countries.