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Deal Radar 2009: AnyWare Group

Posted on Wednesday, Jun 24th 2009

As US lawmakers argue over the specifics of President Obama’s proposed healthcare overhaul and Americans’ call for affordable healthcare grows more strident, Deal Radar continues its coverage of companies that are using technology to make healthcare delivery cheaper and more flexible. AnyWare Group is a Canadian provider of remote access solutions for hospitals and healthcare organizations across North America. The company is focused on providing healthcare workers the information they need, when and where they need it. The team has expertise in healthcare networks, applications and user requirements and provides customers with a unique vendor experience on their e-Health projects.

AnyWare Group’s ROAM (Role Oriented Access Management) platform delivers access to hundreds of healthcare applications located in over a hundred hospitals, to thousands of healthcare workers across North America. ROAM’s ability to give workers access to health information allows organizations to provide a single secure access point for healthcare systems, shortens hospital wait times and delivers consistent health information and services regardless of their location.

The consolidation of regional healthcare organizations and the increased need for workers to move between facilities creates strategic integration and access issues. The use of ROAM provides a solution by offering healthcare workers a single portal from which they can securely access any healthcare application they are authorized to use, regardless of where the application and information reside. This removes the financial and technical risks associated with using alternative technologies The managed service model aims to allow projects to be completed on time and within budget.  

AnyWare is based in Saint John, New Brunswick, with a sales and marketing presence in Toronto. The company was founded in 1999 to deliver a complete, managed solution to facilitate secure system access for mobile and remote workers, using a single vendor approach. Robert Lalonde joined as CEO in February 2009, with over twenty years of experience leading technology companies such as Hummingbird Communications, Delano Technology, Fusepoint Managed Services and Pano Logic.

The company has raised $12.3 million through four rounds of financing. Initially AnyWare was funded through profits from consulting works. In 2004 they raised a $500,000 Series A from NBIF and in 2005 a $3.75 million Series B from BDC and GrowthWorks. A Series C of $5.75 million was raised in 2007 from EDC and prior investors and a $2.3 million Series D in 2009 from all previous venture capital firms. The company has no plans to raise additional capital at present.  

In 2003, when AnyWare started designing its ROAM product, healthcare providers were beginning to recognize that costs could be reduced and patient outcomes improved if healthcare workers could access a patient’s entire health record at the point of care. Workers were also demanding more flexibility in working conditions, including the ability to work remotely. Open positions were being filled by consultants, and this increase in the use of consultants required organizations to provide, monitor and audit remote access to health applications.

Healthcare organizations were relying on traditional virtual private network (VPN) and remote access technologies to meet their needs. IPsec (Internet Protocal Security) technologies were not able to meet the deployment times and scalability requirements, while SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) technologies could not deliver the full set of applications used in the healthcare setting.  Both technologies also required long implementation times and did not address the need for workers to access applications from multiple hospitals and locations. AnyWare designed ROAM, with its fast deployment time, to fill this need. The company says that its managed service can be scaled to meet a sudden demand or increase caused by incidents like pandemics, has higher levels of security and reliability, lower operating costs and less downtime than the alternatives. 

The market includes a total of 13.1 million healthcare workers in North America, of which 1.1 million are in Canada, according to the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI). The Center for Disease Control (CDC) says that there are 12 million healthcare workers in the US. The company uses an estimate of 30% to calculate its available market, which is 3.93 million in total. AnyWare focuses on hospitals and state or provincial health authorities. 

AnyWare uses a direct sales force to get new customers, penetrate the market and access under-served markets, and is putting a channel program in place to expand its sales reach.  They currently have 37 customers including Central Manitoba with 100 users, southern Georgia with 500 users and FacilicorpNB with 10,000 users. 

Organizations are charged a one-time installation fee of $10,000-15,000 to set up the service and a monthly fee of $20 for each user. AnyWare’s annual run rate of recurring revenue is $2.1 million. The company expects to attain profitability soon and has approximate revenue of $3 million. 

AnyWare expects one of two outcomes: first, their focused line of products could become a complementary product line to a broader healthcare technology vendor or telecommunications company. Alternatively, AnyWare Group could be a strong revenue growth play for the right national provider.

Recommended Readings:
Deal Radar 2009: checkMD
Forbes Column 2008: Healing Health Care
Deal Radar 2009: Triveris

This segment is a part in the series : Deal Radar 2009


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