Guest: Merredea Hudgson
Presenter: Wayne Bucklar
Guest Bio: Merredea Hudgson is the CEO and a Director of Cardioscan Services and oversees the business globally. Merredea has extensive experience in the Health Care Industry having worked in this field for thirty plus years. Prior to joining Cardioscan Merredea was National Sales and Marketing Manager, for the Cardiac Division of a major device company in Australia and New Zealand. This extensive role covered all diagnostic equipment as well as sales and marketing for the McKesson ECG management system, CPACS, PACS, Haemodynamic Systems and CVIS. Previous experience includes (but is not limited to) managing Day Surgery Centres, Business Development for National Health IT company and involvement is ISO and ACHS accreditation.
Segment Overview: In this segment, Merredea Hudgson, CEO and Director of Cardioscan Services comes on the programs to discuss all about her company and the products and services that it offers. Cardioscan was established in 1984 and it’s Australia’s largest and longest standing outsourced cardiac monitoring service provider which is based in Melbourne. Cardioscan supplies cardiac equipment, they do the analysis and monitoring services for the medical community such as the pathology companies, private and public hospitals, private cardiology groups and GPs.
Wayne Bucklar: You’re listening to Business Radio Talkers.FM, my name is Wayne Bucklar. Today, my guest is Merredea Hudson and she’s joining us to tell us about what her firm does, it’s called “Cardioscan” and it looks like a fascinating product. Merredea, welcome to the show.
Merredea Hudgson: Thank you.
Wayne: Merredea, just fill us in what is it that Cardioscan does and who do you do it for and where do you do it?
Merredea: Okay. Cardioscan is Australia’s largest and longest standing outsourced cardiac monitoring service provider. We are based in Melbourne although we are a national business here and we took our business offshore a couple of years ago and we’re now in Hong Kong and Singapore and we do reporting for some companies in Europe as well. We have been established since 1984 so we’ve got longevity there. And what we do, we actually supply cardiac equipment, we do the analysis and monitoring services for the medical community such as the pathology companies, private and public hospitals, private cardiology groups and GPs.
Wayne: Right. So I have in my mind a picture of someone sticking electrodes all over someone’s just in the emergency room, you don’t deal with patients?
Merredea: No, we don’t deal with patients. We do deal with the companies that actually deal with the patients direct. So they actually do the testing, all we do is the analysis and reporting.
Wayne: Now looking at your website, I noticed some things on what I would think is for many people who don’t know anything about cardiac testing, it’s kind of a leading edge with portable holters and that sort of mobile equipment, that’s also in your range?
Merredea: Yes. It is diagnostic cardiac equipment. We actually the distributors of these holters, ECGs and ambulatory blood pressures plus, we provide them within our services. The holter device that we actually use globally in our services is called the “myPatch.” This holter is actually just a patch where the old holters had multiple bleeds, patients would have them on them and they felt like they couldn’t go about the day-to-day activities because they were quite cumbersome. And myPatch device is a waterproof holter. It’s the first fully waterproof device. You don’t have all the leads hanging from you. You can wear it up to 14 days and it will record continuously for that time. And with it being fully waterproof, our patients are able to have a shower, they can swim with this. And we’re finding in the overseas markets that it has been huge for the holter service. It is a device that everyone has been waiting for.
Wayne: It’s got to be a lot more convenient than the old style which I have one of those and it does feel like you’re across between an alien and robot a little bit.
Merredea: Well, that’s right. With this, you can go to the gym, you don’t get the artifact because you don’t have all the leads where you don’t get the artifact, you can go swimming, if you’re a sports person, I know the company that actually manufactured has got someone actually doing a marathon with us and they’re actually going to document the outcome.
Wayne: Merredea, that’s I guess when you work in the industry, you see some of this stuff and think, “Oh, that’s just another step forward.” But when you’re outside the industry and you hear about it you think, “Wow, that groundbreaking technology.”
Merredea: It is. And where this device is quite unique is it can be used with any holter system out of this. So it’s agnostic, so it can be used with other holder system. So we actually distribute that to cardiologists throughout Australia as well.
Wayne: Right. Now Merredea, does Cardioscan also do the reporting on the results of these testings?
Merredea: Yes. We actually do the analysis and reporting or if a cardiology practice to free up their technicians, they may ask us steps to do the analysis where the cardiologists will do their own reporting. So in Australia alone, we report and analyze on over 500,000 ECGs. It would be over 50,000 holters and over 20,000 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure. So we’ve been doing this for a long time. We were a completely paper-based business when I came into the business in 2012 and we are now completely digitalized.
Wayne: And Merredea, our audiences are both clinical and non-clinical. Is there a takeaway message for them?
Merredea: Look, I think yes. At Cardioscan, we’ve been saving time and lives for more than 30 years. With each new innovation and solution, one idea remind that is to deliver the right information when it matters to those who can make a difference. So we are proud to say that at Cardioscan, our services save time and most importantly, lives.
Wayne: It does sound like a fascinating business.
Merredea: Look, there is one other thing I would like to mention. We have had our struggles trying to find a system that was able to help us grow our business digitalized, improve communication among our customers and with all our systems out in the field, we needed to be able to monitor them, have complete holter checks that we could give our customers complete visualization. And so we wanted a system that was able to our doctors could be anywhere, anytime and report. So this was really important to us and there was nothing really out in the field that we found met our requirements. So we went about developing our own platform equal. So we felt this was more superior than anything else on the market for medical reporting and communication. It is the first of its kind to be fully cloud-based to our footprint and it allows our doctors to report anywhere, anytime, on any device. The good thing with this, the system is agnostic. So what that means it allows for any cardiology equipment, so all our diagnostic equipment to be able to come into their reports into us. It does not have to be a particular brand and it allows for any of the cutting-edge equipment to integrate with it. So “Beatbox” has been so successful in our business globally that we now offer software as a service. We’re offering it to hospitals and cardiologists to integrate their systems and improve workflows throughout the business was having a system that has a order process in place. So it’s really changed the way our workflow and a lot of the cardiology practices that are using it. It’s really saved their time, improved their reporting and it just complete workflow, so it’s all in one place.
Wayne: And Merredea, it’s called “Beatbox?”
Merredea: It is called “Beatbox.”
Wayne: What a great name. I have a lot to do with IT in various ways and when you hear product names, that’s just the perfect name for that particular product. For people who are interested in either Cardioscan or Beatbox Merredea, how can they get in touch with you?
Merredea: By our website which is cardioscan.com.au or they can phone our main office on (03) 9832 2222.
Wayne: So that was cardioscan.com.au and the phone number again please?
Merredea: At (03) 9832 2222.
Wayne: Merredea, it’s been a pleasure having a chat with you today. I do appreciate your making yourself available. Thank you very much for sharing that information with us.
Merredea: Thank you for your time.
Wayne: If you’ve just missed my conversation with Merredea Hudson and my fascinating chat about Cardioscan and Beatbox, the good news is you haven’t missed it all together because we have an audio archive. You can listen to the whole interview again on iTunes, SoundCloud or YouTube. You can also read a transcript on our website. You’re listening to Business Radio Talkers.FM, my name is Wayne Bucklar.