Avante IT launches healthcare IT specialist

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Avante IT has launched a specialist medical IT provider to take advantage of a healthcare sector rush to boost its rate of migration from analogue to digital technologies.

Scott Crawford, current head of Avante IT, said he was swapping that hat for a managing directorship at the new healthcare-focused IT provider, Avante Medical.

"It's very exciting," he said. "As far as players in the space go, there's hardly anyone."

Crawford said Avante IT had three major healthcare clients. Those customers had shown that IT sales opportunities were growing in the medical sector, so the company had decided to set up an entirely new business devoted to that vertical.

He said the medical sector worked differently with IT than many other customers, so setting up a new business was a good way to focus on the opportunity.

It required a collaborative, cooperative ongoing effort rather than a point solution type of break-fix response, he said.

"Mainly, they're imaging clients -- doing MRIs, X-rays, cat scans and so on. And it's not like they call you and you come and fix the server, you're in there with Siemens, Agfa, Oracle and their other partners," Crawford said.

He said many medical imaging customers were in the process of moving from analogue equipment to fully digital systems and software.

That included graphical imaging software and related systems from companies such as Agfa but also sophisticated storage solutions and other offerings from vendors such as Citrix or IBM to help manage large amounts of data securely and efficiently, Crawford said.

Avante Medical aimed to strike while that iron was hot, he said.

The new business would be staffed by consultants, engineers and doctors with relevant healthcare sector expertise. So far, five staff were on board with two other engineers and one more salesperson starting soon, Crawford said.

"We're moving offices to a place five times the size next door, a purpose-built space, a proper operations centre," he said. "Those guys need to have real 24-hour responses."

The board would comprise doctors, radiologists and IT professionals, Crawford said.

Damien Sutton, a NSW account manager at Agfa, said in a statement that Avante Medical would fill a much needed IT networking gap. Many smaller healthcare practices struggled when it came to technology.

"We recently worked with Avante Medical at St Vincents Medical Imaging [in] Sydney, where they replaced the entire network," Sutton said. "These guys knew what they were doing and the planning was superb."

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