Bluespier International has been named Best New Exporter at the Chamber Awards 2005, organised by the Chamber of Commerce Herefordshire and Worcestershire and held in the historic Worcester Cathedral.
The Worcestershire company is reaching the southern hemisphere with a cuttingedge clinical software system that helps hospitals treat patients more effectively by sharing information quickly and easily.
Bluespier, of Grafton Flyford, near Worcester, was the brainchild of Susan Williams, now managing director, and Gavin Webb, now technical director.
Backed by the clinical experience of Susan's husband David Selvey, an orthopaedic surgeon at Redditch's Alexandra Hospital and Droitwich Spa Private Hospital, the company created a revolutionary system designed specifically for capturing clinical data. The company is now a leading international name in clinical information systems with clients in four countries ranging from private users through to large hospitals.
The patient manager system is comprehensive, sophisticated and easy to use, with thousands of users including consultants, nurses, doctors and administrative staff.
The system is highly intuitive and any information that a doctor or nurse would write by hand or dictate is instead entered onto patient manager via a 'point and click' or touch screen, enabling other hospital staff to access the data immediately.
Bluespier International turned to UK Trade & Investment's international trade team at Business Link West Mercia for additional support in developing its growing export business because of the long sales cycle within the UK, which can be up to two years when selling to NHS hospitals.
The company joined UK Trade & Investment's flagship Passport scheme about 18 months ago and benefited from a package of support, including a free business health check; attending an export workshop; assistance in drawing up an international strategy and matched funding to help implement this strategy; quality training and mentoring advice; access to the full range of UK Trade & Investment services, government funding and membership of Midlands World Trade Forum, the regional export club.
Thanks to its partnership with UK Trade & Investment, Bluespier International is now selling its systems to hospitals in Australia, South Africa and the Republic of Ireland.
Susan said: "UK Trade & Investment has made a huge difference to our export business. We wouldn't have accomplished such spectacular successes without the support and advice we received through Passport.
"With potential customers on the other side of the world, there's only so far you can go with telephone calls and emails - you must be prepared to travel to meet them. UK Trade & Investment has enabled us to do this, and about a third of our new sales opportunities are now being generated internationally."
Bluespier International has recently installed a groundbreaking system at the Prince of Wales Hospital in Sydney, to help the hospital diagnose osteoporosis (brittle bone disease) at an earlier stage by sharing information across specialist departments.
Susan explained: "This is innovative even in medical terms - when a patient in the target age group comes in with a broken bone, orthopaedic surgeons treat the injury but the underlying condition remains, with the possibility that the patient will suffer
"With this system, all the surgeons' reports are passed on to the endocrinologists and geriatricians, who can interrogate the data to establish refractures. whether these patients are at high risk of being osteoporotic. The patients can then be treated with drugs and won't suffer further injuries to their bones.
"Sharing information in this way hasn't been possible before because of the difficulties in capturing and analysing it, but our system has simplified this and made the data capture part of the clinicians' normal work routine, so no extra work is involved.
"It is this simplicity that empowers users, generates substantial cost-savings and drives our continued international success."
The installation of the system at the POW hospital in Sydney was made possible by forming a relationship with the Australian division of the third largest international pharmaceutical company, Sanofi-Aventis, which was cemented by face-to-face meetings on visits to the country.
As a result of these visits, combined with the credibility of having a system installed in Sydney, Bluespier is in discussion with Queensland Health to pilot the Bluespier Patient Manager system, which may be rolled out across the state.
UK Trade & Investment's services in Worcestershire are delivered through Business Link West Mercia.
Senior international trade adviser Linda Smith said: "It is fantastic to work with Bluespier in a very competitive field. Passport has provided additional resource to assist with their international development - both commercially and strategically."
For more information about how UK Trade & Investment can help your business expand into new markets abroad, contact the International Trade Team at Business Link West Mercia on Tel: 0845 641 1506.