Jim Fleming has never been laid up in a hospital room, but he knows how boring it can be.
He visited a sick friend one day who complained that after he’d run out of emails to answer with his Blackberry, he faced an impossible choice on the hospital television: Oprah or soap operas.
Mr. Fleming didn’t realize that he’d soon be helping remove that dilemma while improving hospitals’ quality of care.
This year Mr. Fleming joined Lincor Solutions as business development manager. The small company based in Cork, Ireland, was founded in part by three former Apple Computer employees.
Lincor installs touchscreens on hospital beds that let patients access satellite radio and TV, on-demand movies, audio books, games and more.
In addition to keeping patients entertained, the “Medivista” screens are practical, money-saving devices for caregivers. They link up with hospitals’ main computer systems, allowing staff to access medical records and even complete payment transactions from the screen mounted on a movable arm at the patient’s bedside.
The company got its start in Ireland in 2003 and moved into the United Kingdom as it transitioned to a universal health care system. In May Lincor put its American base in Alpharetta, hoping to capitalize on the push for a more European-style system in the U.S.
“What’s happened in Europe is going to happen here, and what you see over there is what you’re going to see here,” Mr. Fleming told GlobalAtlanta.
He noted that the sweeping health care reform law championed by President Obama includes incentives for hospitals to install electronic health records and penalties for those that don’t.
The new law also mandates that most Americans carry a health insurance policy or be penalized, though that stipulation faces a litany of lawsuits. A federal judge in Virginia ruled the mandate unconstitutional on Dec. 14.
The health-care legislation smoothed the way for Lincor to add the U.S. to its growing list of markets across Europe and Asia. Mr. Fleming said the company will post some $20 million in revenues this year.
Thanks to the device’s versatility, Lincor has seen “tremendous” interest from U.S. hospitals, Mr. Fleming said. Medivista can help hospitals cut costs, boost revenues and decrease infections by reducing the amount of non-sterile equipment shuffled by staff among hospital rooms.
The system’s capabilities can also be extended through its open software architecture. Lincor can oversee the development of computer programs tailored to a hospital’s needs. The applications can be accessed through an icon on the touchscreen, much like apps on Apple’s iPhone and iPad, Mr. Fleming said.
The system is installed at 18,000 bedsides in more than 75 hospitals.