Lockheed, HP offer medical info systems

Lockheed Martin IMS and Hewlett-Packard Co. have teamed to offer medical information systems and services to the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The two companies initially came together to test HP's CareVue patient information system in the Philadelphia VA Medical Center as part of the VA's Hybrid Open Systems Technology (HOST) program.

CareVue acts as a decision-support system for physicians, allowing them to collect patient information, chart medical intervention and weigh outcomes.

Larry Vagnoni, director of marketing at Lockheed Martin Integrated Solutions Co., a division of Lockheed Martin IMS, said the companies' "strategic initiative" will allow them to offer HP's medical systems, such as CareVue, to VA users while exploiting Lockheed's expertise in the VA's installed base of systems.

"We have the best working knowledge of the legacy systems at VA," Vagnoni said, "so we are assisting in creating interfaces between new systems like CareVue and the legacy systems."

Vagnoni said the companies would work together to pursue opportunities "at about half a dozen additional sites" within the VA.

He said the Lockheed/HP applications may also be installed at some university hospitals where VA doctors are trained, but the companies are not yet targeting Defense Department or commercial hospitals as potential customers.

"We are not yet taking our presentation beyond the VA marketplace, but we are looking to evolve," he said.

Mike Mancuso, corporate accounts manager for HP's Medical Products Group, said in a prepared statement that the companies will work together to assess medical information technology products and services for use at VA hospitals.

The collaboration began when personnel from the two companies began working together in Philadelphia. Lockheed's work focused on integrating new equipment and systems—including those purchased from the company's Nationwide Office Automation for the VA contract—into the existing hospital infrastructure. When a team from HP entered the picture to install CareVue, the two companies developed common "synergy and focus," Vagnoni said.

HOST Program

The initial focus of the Lockheed/HP alliance has been the VA's HOST program. HOST is designed to bring commercial medical information technology into the VA's hospital infrastructure, which previously consisted primarily of systems developed in-house using the M (formerly MUMPS) programming language.

Robert Kolodner, director of the VA's Medical IRM Office, said Lockheed has been collaborating with VA personnel to help them exploit commercial technology in its hospital information systems at the Philadelphia hospital.

"Lockheed has been working very closely with us because Philadelphia is our flagship HOST site," Kolodner said. "We're making a shift to a `buy or build' approach, and HOST is a significant `buy' part of that strategy."

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