IP5280 Takes On Telemedicine With CEWest Buy

Colorado-based IP5280 Communications is buying CEWest Consulting Inc. to jumpstart its reach into the telemedicine market.

IP5280 specializes in business VoIP and data communications; CEWest, also headquartered in Colorado, is an IP services provider that targets the healthcare sector.

The acquisition – IP5280’s fourth since 2006 – includes hardware and software assets, customers and key employees. Financial terms were not disclosed. IP5280 now gets immediate expertise in designing and implementing telemedicine and health-care communications, the company said.

For example, IP5280 will take on projects such as helping hospitals, clinics and other health-care entities adopt electronic medical records (EMRs). The health care world gradually is turning to options such as online records storage, the ability to transmit data such as X-rays via broadband, and even meet with patients through videoconferencing, as high-speed Internet access promises to cut costs.

To that point, IP5280’s new focus is nothing but smart. That’s because the United States health care system is expected to spend $55.5 billion on telecom services over the next five years, according to a recent report from Insight Research Corp. The increase comes from several factors: looming health care reform; ever-higher health care costs; an aging population; and worker shortages, Insight Research found. Plus, the firm said, much of the current system’s steep expenses come from the proximity of patients and doctors, as well as to the “archaic” administrative systems used to manage records and exchange information.

“Telecommunications can bridge these proximity gaps as well as provide a normalized set of baseline data that remains secure yet can be shared among health care workers,” report author Robert Rosenberg noted.

Jeffrey Pearl, co-founder and managing partner of IP5280, agreed.

“The convergence of health care technology and telecommunications technology offers a tremendous opportunity to expand the availability and affordability of modern health care,” Pearl said in a prepared statement. “Telemedicine, EMR, rural access and videoconferencing applications are just the start of a communications revolution within the healthcare industry, and it’s all moving to IP technology.”

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