August 28, 2008

Apollo Hospitals working with TCS for patient ID number

Apollo Hospitals Enterprise Ltd is working on a project that would give each of its patients a Universal Hospital Identification Number (UHIN). The number is like a password that will give access to the entire medical records of the patient.

Anybody who walks into any Apollo outfit would be given this number.

“His medical data will be stored for life,” Dr Pratap Reddy, Chairman, AHEL, told a press conference here on Wednesday. Any doctor anywhere in the world will be able to access the patient’s medical history using that number, he said.

Dr Reddy said that Tata Consultancy Services is helping Apollo on this project. He said the project would be launched soon, “definitely not beyond December.”

He said that Apollo was also working on another project that would enable the use of the mobile phone to secure medical help — tele health. He did not elaborate. The press conference was held to announce the agreement for the 100th franchise for Apollo Clinic.

It was said at the meeting that today there are about 60 Apollo Clinics across the country and 40 more are coming up. Most of these clinics are run by franchisees, who pay a one time fee of Rs 25 lakh and an annual fee of 6 per cent of turnover to Apollo, for using the brand and knowledge resources of Apollo. It costs around Rs 2 crore to set up an Apollo Clinic.

Dr Reddy said that Apollo Hospitals was asking the franchisees to keep the clinics open 24 hours. He said that the aim was to have at least 1,000 Apollo Clinics across the country. Today, most of the 100 clinics are franchise-owned, but many of the clinics that would be set up in the future would be company-owned too.

Stake in Nigerian hospital

Apollo is working on proposals to take a stake in a 250-bed hospital company in Nigeria and set up another hospital of similar size in Ethiopia, the Managing Director, Ms Preetha Reddy, said.

She said that it looked like Apollo would invest around $12 million for a 30 per cent stake in the Nigerian hospital, but these numbers could change as negotiations are on.

The proposal for setting up a hospital in Ethiopia, in collaboration with a local partner, is at a preliminary stage, she said.

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