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February 1, 1989

ICL SEES RICH PICKINGS FROM HEALTH SERVICE WHITE PAPER – AND BULL IS READY

By CBR Staff Writer

Despite the controversy surrounding the new government white paper on the National Health Service, everybody seems agreed that it is good news for the computer industry with its implications of a rapidly expanding market for information technology in the health sector. For the National Health Service’s resource management initiative aims to improve the accessibility of computer-based information by combining clinical data with information about resources. Unfortunately, however, the White Paper offers only a general outline of the restructuring, and details concerning computerisation will have to wait for the publication of the working papers in two to three weeks’ time. So far, the only thing that seems clear to suppliers is that the new system will involve a radical growth in the nationwide networking of information between health districts and regions, and will require mainframes, distributed systems, and desktop micros. ICL, which numbers 450 hospitals in 85 health districts among its customers, is in a good position to take advantage of these changes. Meanwhile, Bull HN Information Systems Ltd, which has already piloted a Care Card System under the Exmouth Health Authority, is looking to increase its 5% market share of the UK health sector by moving into the new specialist areas that are about to open up in, for example, general practitioner management systems.

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