Hospira and Cerner team up for infusion pump healthcare IT collaboration

Hospira ($HSP) and healthcare IT firm Cerner ($CERN) are joining forces to develop the companies' infusion pump information platform, building on previous efforts to better integrate Hospira's infusion pumps with Cerner's electronic medical record (EMR) systems.

Under the terms of the deal, Hospira will use Cerner's programming technology to connect its infusion pumps to a patient's electronic medical record in point-of-care settings, enhancing functionality for the devices, the companies said in a statement. The system will create a back-and-forth information exchange, allowing the pumps to be automatically programmed with prescription orders from a medical record and infusion data to be documented in the patient's record.

The latest collaboration builds on previous work between the two companies, as Hospira and Cerner first teamed up in 2003 to create its infusion pump and EMR integration technology.

Cynthia Ansari

"Hospira is proud to extend our relationship with Cerner to deliver the enhanced interoperability between smart I.V. pumps and EMRs that our customers seek," Cynthia Ansari, Hospira's VP of U.S. Marketing and Software, Medical Devices, said in a statement. "Together, we will innovate to enable our products to integrate in new and even more effective ways. This relationship builds on a longstanding foundation of collaboration between our companies with a shared goal of supporting healthcare organizations and caregivers in delivering the best possible care."

The deal marks a bright point for Hospira, which has dealt with its fair share of pushback recently over infusion pumps. In May, the Department of Homeland Security warned that a low-skilled remote hacker could hack the company's LifeCare PCA Infusion System due to a cybersecurity flaw. Earlier this month, the FDA told hospitals not to use Hospira's Symbiq Infusion System because it could be accessed by hackers, potentially leading to over- or under-infusion of therapy to patients.

Still, the company is forging ahead on other fronts as it attempts to revive its lagging device portfolio. Last year, the FDA lifted an import ban on one of the company's infusion pump manufacturing facilities, opening the door for revived sales of the devices in the U.S. Since then, Hospira has snagged FDA clearance for two of its new infusion pumps.

In February, the Lake Forest, IL-based company said it would merge with pharma giant Pfizer ($PFE) for $16 million to increase its footprint in sterile injectables and biosimilars. Even though the deal was meant to help the companies cash in on high-growth markets, it also gave Pfizer access to Hospira's device business.

" ... (W)e believe that Hospira has a leading pumps and consumables business, which differentiates them from the competition, which will provide Pfizer with novel capabilities in an adjacent area and a new source of revenue growth," John Young, Pfizer's Group President of Established Pharma, said at the time of the merger.

- read the statement

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