Philips adds Visicu and Emergin to patient monitoring stable
8 January 2008
Royal Philips Electronics announced in December two
takeovers that are expected to grow its patient-monitoring business.
Early in the month, Philips acquired privately held US company Emergin,
Inc. a supplier of software to rapidly transmit medical alarm signals
throughout hospitals. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. The
transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2007, upon which
Emergin will become part of the Patient Monitoring business unit within
Philips’ Medical Systems.
Emergin is based in Boca Raton, Florida, with approximately 100 employees.
Founded in 1995, Emergin has seen strong demand for its software solutions,
with 2007 sales at an estimated US$18 million, or roughly 50% year-on-year
growth over the past three years.
Emergin produces alarm management and event notification software that helps
ensure that critical information is sent rapidly to the right caregiver on
the personal communication device of their choice — be it a pager, wireless
telephone, PDA or LED sign. Emergin’s software has wide acceptance among
hospital chief information officers (CIOs), who increasingly play a central
role in the purchasing decisions at hospitals. The acquisition of Emergin
will enable Philips to integrate the functionality offered by Emergin’s
software directly into Philips’ current and future patient monitoring
Just before Christmas Philips announced a merger agreement with
clinical IT and service provider VISICU Inc. (NASDAQ: EICU). Philips is
offering to acquire the entire share capital of VISICU for US$12.00 per
VISICU share. Philips’ cash offer values the company at approximately US$300
million (approximately €200 million).
The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2008.
in Baltimore, Maryland, VISICU produces 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
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
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.
Founded in 1998, VISICU has a
staff of approximately 100, which includes clinicians, software developers,
sales and client services personnel. The company had sales over a 12-month
period ending in the third quarter of 2007 of approximately US$36 million.