LONDON: Pradeep Ramayya is a doctor who's a geek at heart; he used his first salary to buy a computer. So, he's converged a life-long passion for information technology, his family hospital business in Hyderabad, and a career in medicine, to create a company that is now being held up as a local success story by the Scottish government — and spreading its wings from its base in Glasgow to the US, Canada, and Puerto Rico
Mr Ramayya, who moved to the UK in the 1980s, quit his job as a doctor 10 years ago to set up Axsys Technology, a medical-care IT company.
With an initial investment from Morgan Stanley, Ramayya delisted his family business, Pramila Hospitals in Hyderabad, to a parent company and started out of Glasgow. Now, the company employs over 160 in a massive back-office in Hyderabad, 38 in Glasgow, and Mr Ramayya bets on a growth rate of over 150% in the next few years — rates that's almost unheard of in the UK. In the last year, Axsys has signed up a host of contracts in the US and Canada, including a major $15-million contract in July to link up 2,50,000 providers. Telemedicine, he will tell you, is not all about distance video cameras and huge investments.
He's also just signed up with Barts and London Dental North American Medical management, a deal to connect 5,000 providers in Puerto Rico.
Now, Mr Ramayya, who says the company has managed to generate revenues from 2003, hopes to be a global player in four to five years.
So what exactly does he do? Axsys' offering fills in a unique gap — the lack of coordination and information between various healthcare providers, from specialists to nurses. "Healthcare can often be asynchronous," says Mr Ramayya. That is, the doctor didn't know what the nurse was doing and they all gave you the wrong medicine.
Called a collaborative care system, the software tracks a patient's records, symptoms, and health monitoring across a spectrum of specialists. "It's a bit like going to the doctor online — very often, patients don't get enough facetime with doctors," says Mr Ramayya.
What about India? Axsys does have its system running on one site in Gujarat, but for now, the focus is US. "In a system where patient pay for repeated visits to the doctors, it's not in anyone's interest to have preventive systems. We come in when insurers, or public health authorities want to reduce the overall cost of healthcare, especially, for chronic diseases," he says. "We'll have to wait a bit for emerging markets like India."
Dr. Pradeep Ramayya
Co-founder & CEO AxSys Technology Limited, Scotland Profile :
Pradeep Ramayya is the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of AxSys Technology Ltd., a firm that has developed a unique software platform for managing healthcare. Working as a doctor in the UK for over 20 years, Pradeep recognised that healthcare delivery was becoming more fragmented and less coordinated. Clinical information wasn’t being shared across organisational boundaries and Patients weren’t being engaged in a timely and proactive manner. In 2000, Pradeep established AxSys with a vision to create a unique healthcare focussed software platform that would act as a Hub connected to information sources in healthcare organisations. The Hub extracts and semantically models data within its own repository in order to coordinate and manage healthcare delivery across the continuum of care. Patients would be encouraged to connect to the Hub and collaborate with their own care team. Over the last 12 years the software platform called Excelicare has been adopted by leading healthcare institutions in the UK, Ireland, USA, Canada and India. Pradeep’s senior medical career commenced in 1989 when he was appointed as a Consultant in Anaesthesia, with a special interest in Medical Informatics, at Aberdeen Royal Hospitals NHS Trust. He was later offered a position as Consultant in Anaesthesia and Intensive Care at HCI - International Medical Centre in Glasgow in 1994. He became Medical Director of the facility in 1997. Pradeep’s IT experience goes back to the early 80s when he developed and implemented several clinical applications including a comprehensive clinical information system for management of patients in the Intensive Care Unit at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary. Later in the 90s he was the lead physician responsible for overseeing the implementation of the world’s first enterprise scale electronic patient record system at HCI International Medical Centre in Glasgow. Pradeep has achieved international recognition for his expertise in the field of IT with numerous scientific papers, presentations and reviews to his name, and has chaired IT sessions at various international scientific meetings. He was Chairman of the UK Society for Computing & Technology in Anaesthesia (SCATA) from 1996 to 1999 and was on the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Clinical Monitoring and Computing. AxSys has its office in Glasgow, Scotland and a product development centre in Hyderabad India.