by Joanna Ripard, The Times of Malta

6PM, the Naxxar-headquartered ICT company, is pursuing a strategy to build annuity business by becoming increasingly product-focused in its drive to satisfy client needs, according to chief executive Ivan Bartolo.

The company is currently marketing a carefully designed portfolio of products to suit the requirements of the UK’s NHS, its major customer, but which have realisable potential in other markets and various sectors, in Malta and overseas. 6PM has so far this year exceeded £3 million in sales on which it now has to deliver.

The company is considering a series of add-ons for its Care Solutions Climate-HIV management product as part of the strategic product’s growth strategy. In February the company said it had concluded the sale of three solutions to trusts of the NHS – triple its original expectations for the quarter.

“Climate-HIV is receiving positive reviews in the UK and it is one of 6PM’s strategic products,” Mr Bartolo told The Times Business. “Beyond the actual sales, products bring annuity business with them. Our objective is to reach a position where, every year, 6PM is able to invoice clients for support, maintenance and managed services. Our biggest drive is to develop into an increasingly product-based company, looking more into satisfying customer needs and growing our annuity business.”

Climate-HIV is an electronic care record system for HIV medicine, designed to simplify and safeguard clinician-patient relations. It allows clinicians to write clinic letters, code diagnoses, extract data for audit purposes, service planning, commissioning and research. The product’s continuing development is a joint venture with North Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust.

Meanwhile, another major product for 6PM, Stroke Pad, is being considered by up to four UK hospitals. Stroke Pad, too, Mr Bartolo added, would also translate into considerable annuity business for 6PM.

Mr Bartolo said the team is particularly excited about the business prospects for its integrated records management system, which incorporates paper records tracking and electronic document management.

The paper management tracking solution called iFIT – intelligent file and inventory tracking – uses Motorola radio- frequency identification technology and allows hospitals to reduce file sorting processes to five minutes from three hours. Teams of more than 25 people who manage files in archives the size of factories can now be reduced by a quarter.

“The efficiency delivered by this product allows hospitals to reskill people and deploy them to different areas,” the chief executive explained.

“In the health sector, the ethical business case is never based on financial gain but on the improvement in quality to patient care. Easy access to files and records is a major benefit to hospital teams and patients.”

Mr Bartolo added how clients in the hospital sector were increasing comparing the costs of hard disk space to shelf space when considering records storage. 6PM’s technology collects a range of data, such as the distances patients’ records travel within hospitals.

Files which are in constant use, such as those relating to oncology patients, can be digitised so that contents are accessible on demand on mobile devices like tablets.

The presence of RFID infrastructure in hospitals opens up a range of possibilities. It allows for vulnerable patients, important mobile equipment, porters, professionals and documentation to be tagged for ease of traceability.

It means that team leaders are able to locate the closest porter, the nearest equipment, and available professionals in the hospital buildings. Work practices and processes can become increasingly efficient.

6PM recently told the stockbroking community about a “handsome list” of potential customers for iFIT for this year. Next year, the company plans to approach customers to introduce them to new applications.

“The NHS is Europe’s largest employer with one million employees and hundreds of trusts,” Mr Bartolo said.

“Over the past four years, however, we have continued to focus on products which are no longer NHS-specific. HIV and stroke treatment is similar across the world, and 6PM will market these solutions in other regions. Besides RFID applications are marketable in a range of sectors outside the medical field in Malta and overseas, such as hypermarkets. These are exciting times for us.”