Export Commendation For Christchurch’s Cardinal Healthcare
Christchurch company Cardinal Healthcare has been awarded a Trade
New Zealand Export Commendation for growing international sales to $7 million in four years and becoming one the leading
IT healthcare providers in Australia.
Cardinal Healthcare develops and sells specialist health and social services software that enables the integration of
different sources of information to give users from different organisations and professions a single view of a patient.
Built to run on PCs and other mass-produced hardware, all users can easily access the integrated information, be it from
a handheld computer or a laptop. Strict security allows controlled access to patient records.
Cardinal Healthcare’s General Manager Marketing & Sales Gavin Wright says the software capitalises on a global trend towards the decentralising of healthcare, which is
bringing with it an increasing need for better-integrated healthcare.
“Chronic diseases and modern health conditions are placing an increasing burden on the resources of health systems. Most
countries face enormous increases in the number of patients over 65 years, with some doubling in the next two decades.
Care delivered outside hospitals is becoming increasingly viable. Our software enables organisations to make better
healthcare decisions for patients in this new environment by ensuring that everyone involved with the client has easy
access to the same information.”
The JADE technology platform used by Cardinal Healthcare is owned by its parent company Aoraki Corporation Ltd. Since
its formation in 1997, Cardinal Healthcare has developed a suite of healthcare software products under the JADECARE
Mr Wright says one of the company’s first challenges was getting recognition and acceptance of its new technology. There
is no doubt this has now been achieved in Australia, where Cardinal Healthcare have become a leading player in the IT
healthcare market in just four years.
“JADE provides a technology advantage that enables us to be more flexible and cost-effective than our much larger global
competitors – companies from the USA and Europe who have multi-billion dollar turnovers.”
Cardinal Healthcare has made a major investment in developing its export business, with its main focus for the first
three years being Australia. Last year it expanded into the UK, where its first major project is now beginning to be
implemented for England’s National Health Service. Its current market focus is on developing the Canadian market.
Trade New Zealand Account Manager Stephen O’Neill says Cardinal Healthcare’s superior technology and focus on working in
partnership with clients has helped the company achieve outstanding foreign exchange growth in a very short time.
“They’ve grown from five people in 1997 to 60 today, and from almost no revenue to more than $7 million in foreign
exchange earnings a year. And they’ve got tremendous opportunities for continuing that strong growth.”
Cardinal’s target markets are Commonwealth countries that have a similar health system to New Zealand’s. Its main
marketing strategy is building relationships with its target audience, which is relatively small and easily
identifiable. It does this both directly through its own sales team and through establishing partnership with companies
that are already successful delivering health and social software and services in the market.
Mr Wright says Cardinal Healthcare’s New Zealand origin is an advantage in markets such as Canada, who perceive
Australasia as being the world leader in mental and community-based healthcare services.
He says the company’s relatively small size compared to its overseas competitors is not a disadvantage internationally
but, ironically, it can be domestically.
“Some local healthcare agencies incorrectly perceive that there is a lower risk in buying software from American or
European companies than from a New Zealand developer. Unlike some of our large overseas competitors our reputation
depends on us delivering 100% on every contract.”
To ensure it remains at the cutting edge, Cardinal has an aggressive product development programme. It has 25 software
developers in its Christchurch head office and a further 10 in Melbourne.
The company’s products are developed with key customers who help determine and design what the new software products
should look like.
“We leverage clients intellectual property and turn that into application software to sell to other health and social
organisations. In return the key customers gets software solutions that meets their requirements.”
Cardinal Healthcare also has a domain consulting group – a team of people with a health background – typically nurses,
doctors or clinical psychologists, and technical expertise, who work with Cardinal Healthcare clients to translate their
healthcare delivery business requirements into technical requirements, which Cardinal Healthcare’s developers then turn
into a software product.