Island tech firm signs Japan deal
Honolulu-based Convergence CT's software manages patient information
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Honolulu-based Convergence CT has inked a deal with Japan's second-largest trading company to sell its software product to Japanese health-care providers.
The local company, which has created a database system for health-care resources, has partnered with Itochu Corp. of Tokyo, which also has become a 5 percent equity partner, investing $2 million in the local firm.
Convergence expects to sell $2 million worth of software in Japan over the next year and distribute its database system in Germany and other parts of Europe within the next few months as part of its worldwide launch earlier this year through a partnership with IBM that could mean hundreds of millions of dollars in sales.
The company plans to hire an additional 75 to 100 workers over the next six months to ramp up for international sales.
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A local health-care technology firm has signed a five-year software distribution contract with Japan's second-largest trading company.
Honolulu-based Convergence CT, whose software provides a database system for health-care resources, has partnered with Itochu Corp. in Tokyo to jointly market, license and distribute the product in Japan. Itochu also has become a 5 percent equity partner, investing $2 million in the local firm.
"We plan to use part of these funds to augment our Japan operations, where there is high demand for products that improve health-care quality," said former Silicon Valley technology marketing executive Lambert Onuma, Convergence president and chief executive officer.
The company expects to sell 10 systems in Japan over the next year, representing $2 million in sales.
As part of the agreement, the companies will jointly develop and own patient health reports for the Japan market and Itochu will offer consulting services to Japanese clients.
The Convergence database system currently manages patient health information for medical groups, hospitals and clinics throughout the United States and Japan. The company will distribute its software system in Germany and other parts of Europe within the next few months as part of its worldwide launch earlier this year through a partnership with IBM.
IBM is jointly selling the product with 1,200 representatives worldwide, which could mean sales in the hundreds of millions of dollars, Onuma said.
"We are already seeing great interest to install the clinical data warehouse in some of the most prestigious hospitals and research universities in Japan," Kenichi
Watanabe, chief executive officer and chief operating officer of Itochu's health-care industry branch, said in a statement.
The Convergence software extracts patient health information from a variety of health-care systems and consolidates the data into a secure, central location. The company has focused its efforts on diabetes and cancer research. For instance, if a patient has diabetes symptoms, a doctor can search the database for treatments that have been successful in other parts of the world.
Convergence currently has 30 employees, 80 percent of which are from Hawaii. The company plans to hire an additional 75 to 100 software programmers and engineers over the next six months to ramp up for international sales.
The new agreement supports the company's vision to create the world's greatest network of patient health information and its larger vision to jump-start Hawaii's technology sector with local talent.
Convergence, founded in 2001, sought young aggressive graduates from the University of Hawaii and Hawaii Pacific University to develop the software for the health-care industry.
"We wanted to have the company in Hawaii and use the local talent here because we're trying to make it possible for people to inspire what happens," said former Hawaii Gov. George Ariyoshi, Convergence chairman.