Defiance Gets Pulse on Medical Market

SYDNEY — Kalgoorlie-based resources explorer Defiance Mining has undergone a career
shift into the health industry, after acquiring Sydney IT specialist Medical
Monitors as part of a broader plan to bring health care to homes.

Defiance, which will change its name to Medical Monitors, has celebrated its
formation by cementing a deal with US blood pressure monitoring equipment
provider A&D. The companies will form a local joint venture to market the
BPfone, a technology that enables patients to monitor their own blood
pressure at home and send recordings by phone or the Internet for
analysis.

The BPfone is based on an electrocardiogram (ECG) monitoring device that
Medical Monitors has developed, that allows users to take readings of heart
activity at home. The device transmits recordings via the telephone to the
WELLness Monitoring Service for analysis, and results are either emailed or
faxed to the patient’s doctor.

Medical Monitors is also utilising a venture it has established with
Australian e-health company Health Communication Network (HCN), which
provides medical software to GPs and some hospitals. Through this alliance,
BPfone’s ECG analyses can be imported directly into HCN’s Medical Director
software, which is used by 14,000 GPs nationally, to inform the doctor
regarding appropriate future action for the patient.

The BPfone has been developed as a potential boon to preventative medicine,
with Medical Monitors managing director Dr Allan Shell saying the technology
can reduce the estimated $3.7 billion cost of cardiovascular disease in
Australia, through early diagnosis and improved medical management.

Shell said that one of the current impediments to effective management of
blood pressure has been the inability to generate regular, reliable
readings. BPfone enables up to 20 measurements to be taken and stored over a
period of days for analysis, compared with a doctor9s visit from which a
patient may have one or two readings that may not reflect irregular heart
activity.

While the move into medical technology is a step away from Australian Stock
Exchange-listed Defiance’s previous livelihood, chairman Brian Hurley said
the company9s shareholders had realised the potential of Medical Monitors’
business here and overseas. “We conservatively estimate revenues of $7
million by June 2003,” he said.

Four million of the monitors have already been sold in the US last year, and
Shell expects to see rapid uptake continue there and begin in the local
market.

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