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Dr Foster heads down under after Telstra acquisition

Telstra first acquired the exclusive rights to use Dr Foster products in 2013 within Australia and are now supplying 15 Australian health services with the products. Having been impressed with the product they have now decided to purchase the company. Health Analytics (opens in new tab) is a rapidly expanding market with MarketandMarkets estimating the growth of the market to reach more than $20 billion (£13.5 billion) by 2020.

This purchase reaffirms Telstra's strategy to be one of the leading providers of eHealth systems. Telstra eHealth division was only set up last year with an investment of around AUS$100million (£51.4 million) and this is the third purchase by Telstra in this sector during 2015 following the purchase of Cloud9, an Australian eHealth cloud developer and IdeaObject an Indian health software developer. The value of the deal was not announced but it is believed to be between AU $25 million (£12.8 million) and AU $30 million (£15.4 million) (Source:Business Spectator (opens in new tab))

Dr Foster is not limited to merely the UK and Australian markets though, it has presence across the globe including the UK, the US, Australia, China, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Belgium, Finland, Norway and Denmark. Its solutions monitor and benchmark the performance of healthcare nationally and globally. Using the key indicators of quality and efficiency, it collates information from multiple datasets including administrative and hospital theatre data. Its benchmarking methods enable hospitals and healthcare services to benchmark both internally and external indicating to senior management methods for improvement through analytics.

Shane Solomon, Telstra Health’s Managing Director, commented “We’re delighted to acquire Dr Foster. We have had a successful relationship as the exclusive reseller of Dr Foster in Australia and when the opportunity arose to purchase the company we saw it as a logical next step, acquiring not only a leading and innovative business but also the experience and skills that will help us compete on the global stage, … Health analytics is a key ingredient to improving efficiency, safety and outcomes for patients, providers and health insurers.

"The acquisition of Dr Foster aligns with Telstra Health’s strategy to create a truly connected health care system and become a leading provider of integrated eHealth solutions. … We’re committed to building the business, both in the established markets in Australia and the UK, but also to explore more global opportunities and ways we can integrate the products with other eHealth solutions to create a connected system.”

When seeking rapid growth internationally there are only a few options open to boards, struggling with limited finance to expand oneself, seeking investment funding from venture capitalists to rapidly expand, or looking for a partner that can help take the business forward on the international stage. In Telstra, a company they have worked with for several years Dr Foster obviously believes that it has found a company with the reach that it could not hope to achieve in such a rapidly expanding market.

Telstra already have feet on the ground and relationships in several countries. Dr Foster co-Founder and Director of Research and Public Affairs, Roger Taylor, said that Telstra Health possessed the right values, expertise and resources to help take the company to the next stage in its development; he said “This is a really exciting development for Dr Foster. Telstra Health brings the resources, scale and expertise to help us take the company forward and maximise the opportunities that an information driven health system can provide for patients.”