Healthways, HCF and Macquarie Hosting Partner to Support Australian Health System

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Under the deal Macquarie Hosting will host Healthways Australia's internet-based suite of health and wellness resources designed to help Australians measure their current health, assess risks and prevent future health problems.

In line with this, we are seeing a sharp spike in the number of eHealth organisations selectively outsourcing their hosting requirements to reduce costs and the administrative burden associated with managing their own data center and mission critical applications.

Macquarie Hosting, a division of Macquarie Telecom, has announced it has signed a three year $1 million deal with Healthways Australia Pty Ltd, part of Healthways Inc, a leading international provider of population health support services, including wellness, prevention and chronic disease management services.

Macquarie Hosting was awarded the contract following a competitive tender.

For Macquarie Hosting, the deal reflects its strategic approach to partner with health organisations with a strong eHealth focus. This is a sector the business expects will be a significant growth area for the next 12 to 18 months as the Government invests substantial funds in overhauling and improving the national health system.

Macquarie Hosting also provides dedicated server hosting and data services for some of the countries leading health organisations including the National E-Health Transition Authority (NEHTA), Smart Health, Map of Medicine, OZDoc's Online, NHMRC Clinical Trials Centre Sydney University, Medicines Australia, Alphapharm, Novartis, Merk Sharp and Dome, ResMed, and Catholic Health Care.

The Healthways service will focus on prevention, education and support for common health needs, providing Australians with access to the information they need to proactively manage their health and improve their quality of life.

Healthways Australia announced its entry into the Australian market with a partnership with Australia's third largest health insurer HCF in November 2008; representing an investment of more than $100 million over five years by HCF.

"Australia has one of the best healthcare systems in the world. However if we are to continue improving the system and better manage the tsunami of chronic diseases coming through, then broad access to personal quality online health resources and large scale telephonic support are critical" said Craig Bosworth, Healthways' Director of Strategy.

"The launch of these services marks a significant investment for our private health insurance partner HCF, and a landmark for the Australian health system. We therefore needed to partner with a provider that could guarantee us the secure and reliable back-end required to support it.

"Australians seek security from their health care and we were seeking security for their health information. Macquarie Hosting with its proven experience working with online businesses and Government departments gave us the confidence we needed to scale easily to support future expansion of the service." Bosworth said.

All online resources and mission critical applications including customised health information, health risk assessments, health coaching and on-line personal health records will be hosted on Macquarie Hosting servers in its ISO 27001 certified and PCI compliant data center in Sydney, the Intellicentre.

Macquarie Hosting will provide the managed dedicated server hosting services required to support rapid growth of the Healthways service in Australia as well as expansion into the Asia Pacific region.

The high-availability, fully-managed hosting solution is built on multiple dedicated Dell servers and is optimised for rapid scalability and increased bandwidth. Specialist redundant SSL load-balancing allows Macquarie Hosting to manage peaks in traffic to the online resource while dedicated firewalls provide added security and redundancy.

Macquarie Hosting will also provide a dedicated tape back-up library and tape drives as well as high availability core network and redundant data links to ensure 24/7 availability of the service for Healthways Australia subscribers and HCF members.

The Macquarie Hosting deal also includes all data and voice services for Healthways Australia's Care Enhancement Centre located in North Ryde. This provides the organisation with a single SLA and guaranteed service level for its network, communications and hosting requirements.

"We are seeing unprecedented activity in the eHealth industry as the Government and private sector inject significant funds to support the development of services designed to alleviate pressure on our health system," said Aidan Tudehope, Managing Director, Hosting, Macquarie Telecom.

"In line with this, we are seeing a sharp spike in the number of eHealth organisations selectively outsourcing their hosting requirements to reduce costs and the administrative burden associated with managing their own data center and mission critical applications."

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Denis Rowe
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