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VENTURA COUNTY BUSINESS | VENTURA COUNTY DIGEST

E-MedSoft.com to Acquire VirTx Inc. of Camarillo

March 14, 2000|BARBARA MURPHY

E-MedSoft.com of Jacksonville, Fla., a maker of software for the health care industry, said it will acquire closely held VirTx Inc. in Camarillo for about $23 million in stock to add more Internet capabilities to its business.

E-MedSoft.com sells a subscription-based health care management system that lets doctors, insurance companies and hospitals share information over the Internet. VirTx operates Collaborative Medical Networks, which lets health care professionals share clinical data using video conferencing and other multimedia software through the Internet.

Sheryl Skolnick, an analyst with Robertson Stephens, said VirTx's business "is a rational use of the Internet, but it hasn't yet gained acceptance." She said that while VirTx and e-MedSoft.com allow doctors to share X-rays and other images over the Internet, the files are very large and the technology to compress them is not quite there.

"VirTx gives us further international clients and helps to break down geographic boundaries because rural areas that have no access to specialized medicine can have it over the Internet," said E-MedSoft.com chief executive John Andrews.

VirTx recently began a statewide network with Blue Cross of California and is building a worldwide network for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. It will operate as the multimedia division of e-MedSoft.com.

VirTx chairman, president and chief executive Murray Firestone will be president of the new company's multimedia division after the sale is completed. VirTx chief operating officer Calvin Carrera will keep that position in the new division.

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