REDTONE INTERNATIONAL BHD is taking the plunge in providing services for the health sector by establishing a RM150mil tele-radiology exchange to cater for domestic and regional hospitals.
Towards this end, the company has already got the approval from the authorities with the Malaysia Industrial Development Authority giving it a grant of over RM20mil to set up the exchange that is expected to be operational by the third quarter of this year, according to sources.
The hub will be hosted in Kuala Lumpur and there will be a pool of radiologists in the region to interpret CT scans, MRI and even ultrasound images. The readings are then sent back to the respective hospitals or medical centres.
This will help hospitals improve operational efficiencies and save cost in having in-house specialist to provide such services.
Thus far, REDtone is said to have got contracts from at least four private hospitals locally and, one each in the Philippines and Vietnam to offer tele-radiology services.
“They are hoping to work with hospitals around the region and become a regional provider of such services. The biggest incentive for hospitals and medical centres to use the services is that it would result in cost savings,” a source says.
REDtone has the solution to operate such an exchange.
Globally, there are many players in this field in their respective countries, and locally BP Tele-radiology claims to provide similar services for the local market.
The Government had also a few years ago planned a diagnostics services nexus (DSN) as part of the entry point projects of National Key Results Area (NKRA). Then REDtone was identified as the broadband provider and General Electric Malaysia the main technology provider.
But REDtone has since moved out of that project and it is now on its way to setting up its own exchange.
The objective of the DSN was to establish a tele-radiology hub that will link both public and private sector radiologists and healthcare providers across the country to facilitate workload balance between public and private sectors. It is forecast that the DSN project would produce gross national income (GNI) of RM540mil and create 1,585 jobs by 2020.
To carry the project, it is said that REDtone has linked up with over 50 radiologists in the region to interpret the imaging reports.
“This will have an impact on the healthcare sector and with modern infrastructure, the images can be sent across the different devices for a radiologist to access the images from anywhere,’’ the source said.
It is not clear how much money this new venture will bring in but for 2013, the company after a transformation exercise, turned in RM25mil in net profit. For this year, the source says REDtone expects a 10% to 20% growth in net profit.
The contribution from data services is about 70% towards its net profit for 2013, while voice is 25%. On a group basis, it is 65% and 25% respectively, while the remaining 10% is from its China operations where it provides prepaid voice services.
REDtone, is a provider of broadband, data and WiFi solutions to small and medium enterprises and government agencies. It also has deployed 1,550 hotspots in Penang and is the biggest WiFi provider in the state where it has 500,000 registered users on the network. The company also has a 2.3G WiMax spectrum for Sabah and Sarawak where it has deployed various technologies to provide Internet access there.
It also has a block of the 2.6G spectrum for LTE, which it has leased out to Maxis Bhd to provide mobility solutions.
REDtone is listed on the ACE Market but has aspirations to upscale to the Main Market. But that will only happen sometime next year.
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