David Rolfe appointed CEO of Asteral and Pantheon Healthcare in the UK

David Rolfe has been appointed CEO of Asteral and all Pantheon Healthcare activities in the UK effective 1st February 2017.  David brings with him a wealth of experience in the provision of quality Radiology and Radiotherapy services.

David commented, “I am excited to be joining an excellent team who care passionately about delivering the most effective and efficient technology management services to hospitals, ultimately for the benefit of patients”.

David was one of the founders of Asteral in 2002, and led the business until 2009, when it was recognised in the Sunday Times fast-track 100 as the fastest growing healthcare business in the UK (29th overall).  Since leaving in 2009, David has established successful MES businesses in both India and the UK.

Alessandro Dogliani, CEO of Pantheon Healthcare Group stated, “we are delighted to have someone of David’s experience joining the business to take forward the opportunities we have as Europe’s leading provider of independent medical equipment solutions and maintenance services”.

Higèa announces the acquisition of 80% of Biomedicale S.r.l.

Higèa S.p.A., a company controlled by Pantheon Group, leading in the healthcare industry, has finalized the acquisition of the 80% of Biomedicale S.r.l., a company owned by Zephyro S.p.A., an Italian company listed at AIM market of “Borsa Italiana” and operating in the healthcare, energetic and in the facility management industries.

With this important operation, Higèa S.p.A., that counts more than 400 employees, a turnover of approx. 100 Millions of Euro and a portfolio with more than 100 Italian and European health facilities, consolidates its leadership in the healthcare engineering services.

This acquisition has a key role in the development process of Pantheon Group, wich includes, besides Higèa, other companies such as Asteral, Mesa, Ed Sloan & Associates, Sigil, Spintech and MVS, leader in the outsourcing multivendor services.

The Group, founded in August 2014, is at its thirteenth acquisition conducted in several countries, with a focus in European market.

Alessandro Dogliani, President and CEO of Higèa and CEO Group of Pantheon, declares: “an operation in line with the strategies for the growth of Higèa and Pantheon that will allow us to strengthen our biomedical integrated services, and, thanks to our know-how, to develop the management processes, improving the results”.

This operation, performed a few weeks after the acquisition of Iteon Tecnologie S.r.l. biomedical division, was achieved with the support of Ernst & Young, Giliberti Pappalettera e Triscornia and Maisto e Associati.

Pantheon acquires IBSL, a leading provider of clinical engineering services in Italy

Pantheon Healthcare Group announced today the acquisition of Ingegneria Biomedica Santa Lucia S.p.A. (IBSL), a key Italian-based provider of clinical engineering and a large range of biomedical equipment services, from Gruppo Giglio.

Backed by the Permira Funds, the acquisition is part of Pantheon’s continued geographic and modality growth strategy which launched in August 2014 with the acquisition of Asteral Limited and Medical Equipment Solutions and Applications (MESA); two leading independent healthcare service companies operating within the European market.  The combination created Europe’s first integrated multi-vendor healthcare service platform for procuring, commissioning, managing and maintaining biomedical devices and diagnostic imaging equipment within public- and private-sector hospitals and clinics.

IBSL was born in 1997 from the entrepreneurial idea of Sergio and Bruno Giglio’s long customer-centric experience with outsourcing options for heating systems.  Their biomedical business quickly grew to become one of the leading clinical engineering service providers in Italy, providing direct maintenance to biomedical systems within hospitals and clinics across Italy.  In the ensuing years, IBSL integrated further management expertise and technical competences through the acquisition of D&D Med. Com., Ra.se.co, Gidea Alta Tecnologia and Te.Mo.Sa, further strengthening its position in clinical engineering and expanding its reach in the sector of diagnostic imaging equipment and outsourcing services.

Thanks to an outstanding managerial team, led by Alessandro Dogliani, Davide Gagliardi, Antonio Marino, Angelo Deantoni and Enrico Labella, together with about 300 technicians and highly-qualified engineers directly operating within hospitals, IBSL delivers high quality, affordable clinical engineering services, comprehensive solutions for the supply and maintenance of diagnostic imaging equipment as well as full-service outsourcing opportunities for Radiology departments, currently serving more than 60 hospitals, research facilities and other clinical providers in Italy.

The acquisition of IBSL strengthens Pantheon’s position as a leading independent pan-European healthcare provider of complete managed solutions for the lifecycle of medical technologies.  With a strong focus on the maintenance, management and sale of equipment for hospitals and diagnostic centres, Pantheon provides central solutions for markets increasingly requiring comprehensive outsourcing provisions and managed services.  The combination of IBSL and Pantheon will extend the service offering of the Group, providing a wider variety of equipment services and products and strengthening Pantheon’s presence in Italy, a key country for its international business development.

Since its inception in August 2014, Pantheon has continued its growth both organically and though the acquisition of three key vendor-independent high technology equipment service providers: MVS in Poland, Spintech in Turkey, and Sigil in France.

MESA continues geographic expansion with acquisition of Sigil in France

Medical Equipment Solutions and Applications (MESA), a Pantheon Healthcare Group company, today announced the acquisition of French diagnostic imaging service provider Sigil.  Complementing MESA’s recent business expansion into France with its core multi-vendor service and managed equipment service offerings, the acquisition of Sigil will accelerate the development and adoption of more efficient asset management and medical equipment maintenance service solutions for public and private sector hospitals and imaging centres. Already present in 12 European countries, MESA’s expansion into France will enable the first local market offerings of integrated, vendor-neutral managed equipment and maintenance service solutions for all radiology and biomedical device modalities.

Based in Eysines, Sigil is an ISO13485 quality certified company providing maintenance service for high-technology Radiology equipment.  The company also offers service and installation of x-ray tubes in public hospitals, including capacity to refurbish and restore medical parts with CE marking, quality assurance consulting and the sale of refurbished systems and conventional x-ray tubes.  Sigil’s combination of service offerings and their equipment-related solutions will be enhanced with the integration of MESA’s services portfolio as well as its pan-European supply chain and service support infrastructure.  Building on the last twenty years of experience providing local, expert multi-vendor and multi-modality services in France, Sigil’s service delivery platform will also be expanded by MESA to provide additional managed equipment service solutions to better meet the increasing demands within the French market for more efficient capital expenditures and reduced maintenance operating expenses over the equipment lifecycle.

Stefano Vagliani, MESA’s Vice President of Business Development and General Manager for Western Europe, said, “The purchase of Sigil will accelerate our growth within the French market not only as a geographic expansion but because France represents a high-growth market for independent managed equipment services and managed maintenance solutions for the public and private healthcare sector.  Sigil’s team has the same passion for customer support and technical expertise that MESA is applying with ISO13485 quality service throughout Europe.”

MESA’s global presence and pan-European leadership team will support Sigil’s existing service infrastructure and customer base, which already includes many large public hospital groups.  In addition to Sigil’s Bordeaux location handling x-ray tube refurbishment, the company currently maintains a large service facility in Massy, which is equipped for equipment staging and field engineer training for MRI, CT and x-ray systems as well as logistical support for packaging of x-ray tubes and parts delivery.  These service support facilities will be expanded and integrated within the MESA pan-European supply chain.

Yves Brohan, Sigil Founder and General Manager, added, “Sigil has for many years offered an independent solution for imaging services that is unique for our customers in France and explains the loyalty we have received from them.  We value professionalism, reliability, savings for our customer and, above all, a responsibility for the highest levels of service toward them.  MESA shares these values and will support Sigil with the staff and resources that will allow us to serve a larger customer base throughout the public and private French healthcare market.”

MESA expands geographic footprint with acquisition of Spintech in Turkey

Continuing its regional expansion in emerging high growth markets, Swiss‐based Medical Equipment Services and Applications (MESA) has announced the acquisition of Spintech, a leading Turkish service provider for multi‐vendor diagnostic imaging equipment, asset management and maintenance services. Spintech brings deep technical and field engineering specialisation across multiple modalities in Siemens high‐end imaging and general radiology medical systems while more recently developing its multi‐vendor capabilities to support GE, Philips and Toshiba imaging systems under a strategic partnership that began with MESA in 2012. The acquisition by MESA Group further strengthens the company’s Pan‐European leadership in the growing independent, multi‐vendor diagnostic imaging service market as well as increasing its Siemens‐specific service capabilities for current and future customers across Europe and the Middle East.

Robert Piconi, Group Chief Executive commented, “Our acquisition of Spintech is a another step in expanding our geographic footprint into attractive, high‐growth segments of the market where there is unmet demand for more high‐quality, flexible and cost‐effective services for diagnostic imaging medical equipment and broader asset management solutions for hospitals and imaging centres. Abdullah Yasar and the Spintech team bring a history of entrepreneurialism and innovation in medical imaging system services and managed equipment solutions which provide a great fit with our current portfolio and with our culture within the Group. Spintech also fortifies our local electronics and medical device repair capabilities qualified under our ISO 13485 quality certification that will serve for future platform expansion in Turkey and surrounding markets.”

Spintech was established in 2011 by a group of former Siemens Healthcare modality managers and field engineers seeking to provide a high‐quality and more cost‐effective multi‐vendor service solution to better meet the rigorous demands of the Turkish market. Under its earlier partnership with MESA, the group quickly broadened from its roots in supporting Siemens diagnostic imaging systems to develop its multi‐vendor capabilities supporting various OEM platforms and providing comprehensive maintenance and asset management services, as well as “turn‐key” managed equipment solutions for MRI, CT, PET‐CT, Angio and other general X‐ray radiology systems.

“We see strong synergies with MESA in the multi‐vendor services and asset management solutions they have been providing throughout Europe and in their recent acquisitions and see that we can extend their service and supply chain capabilities within the Turkish and surrounding markets,” said Abdullah Yasar,General Manager of Spintech, “We share with our new colleagues in MESA, MVS and Asteral the values and passion of putting quality and our customers first, and we are excited to have the opportunity to support their ISO 13485 certified service models with our own quality service with certifications from the Turkish Standards Institution. Because quality and customer service come first in all of these companies, we see tremendous opportunity for more rapid expansion in Turkey as a combined team.”

Spintech currently provides diagnostic imaging and asset management services to both government hospitals and private healthcare customers in more than half of the developed Turkish provinces as well as in Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and the Middle East.

Mr. Yasar added, “We share MESA’s vision for integrated healthcare and asset management service solutions and believe we can add significant benefit to the Group’s core value proposition of improving the quality of patient care by providing more reliable and efficient quality service in support of the clinical healthcare environment.”

MESA provides diagnostic imaging and asset management services on a global scale, with operations across 12 countries. Having recently increased its UK presence through its combination with Asteral, and further consolidating its presence in the Polish market through the purchase of MVS, MESA now provides imaging and clinical services to more than 600 hospitals and diagnostic imaging healthcare clinics across Europe and the Middle East.

MESA continues European expansion with acquisition of MVS

Following its recently announced combination with Asteral, Swiss-based MESA Group Holdings (MESA), today announced the acquisition of MVS Sp. z o.o (MVS) in Poland.  The purchase consolidates the independent multi-vendor diagnostic imaging service market in Poland while accelerating the availability of more efficient and reliable asset management service solutions to both public and private healthcare providers.  The acquisition further strengthens MESA’s pan-European service delivery infrastructure with the addition of MVS’s state of the art parts, equipment refurbishment and testing facility located in Mikolow.  Building upon a five-year relationship and previously announced investment by MESA in MVS one year ago, MVS will play an increasingly important role within the Group by enhancing the company’s core value proposition of improving the quality of patient care by providing more reliable and efficient multi-vendor service solutions that deliver industry-leading equipment availability to clinicians across all MRI, CT, Angio, PET CT and other general X-ray systems.

Founded in 2009, MVS developed Poland’s first independent, multi-vendor diagnostic imaging service company supporting various OEM platforms, providing comprehensive maintenance and asset management services as well as turn-key equipment solutions.  With the completion earlier this year of its ISO13485 medical device certification for quality management systems, MVS joined MESA as the only ISO-certified independent diagnostic imaging service providers in Poland.

“I am very excited to formalise our partnership with Sebastian Cienki, Mariusz Figoluszka and the rest of the MVS team in combining our efforts to accelerate the growth plans of the MESA Asteral Group in Poland and across Europe,” said Robert Piconi, Group Chief Executive.  “We share a common culture and passion for serving customers with the highest quality diagnostic imaging solutions, underpinned by the entrepreneurship and innovation that defines our most important asset in the company – our people.  I look forward to supporting MVS in executing our collective growth plans in Poland and enhancing the execution of our service delivery platform across Europe.”

Sebastian Cienki, CEO and Board Director of MVS, commented: “From the beginning of MVS in 2009, we set out to provide more efficient and reliable alternatives for diagnostic imaging services to help healthcare clinics and hospitals better manage their installed base of assets.  It has been satisfying to see our goals realised to this point, and now to have the opportunity to further expand our footprint in Poland while contributing in a broader way to MESA and Asteral’s European growth.”

Asteral and MESA merger

Asteral is pleased to confirm that it is joining forces with Medical Equipment Solutions and Applications (“MESA”) to create a unified managed equipment and managed maintenance services Group. The merger will ensure providers in the NHS and across Europe will benefit from the Group’s unrivalled asset management and service expertise throughout the product lifecycle of high-end medical systems and other clinical medical devices.

MESA, based in Switzerland and founded in 2009, is the largest independent pan-European provider of diagnostic imaging engineering services and asset management solutions. Working across 12 countries including the UK, Italy, Germany, Poland and Spain, MESA serves more than 600 diagnostic imaging clinics and hospitals, whilst managing over 2,800 medical equipment systems and devices.  With forty years experience maintaining diagnostic imaging equipment, MESA brings the new Group a deep service culture coupled with a multi-vendor service model that complements the vendor-independent service that Asteral provides.

Robert Piconi (pictured above), MESA Executive Chairman and founder, who will take the helm as Executive Director of the new Group, said: “We are delighted to announce the combination of MESA and Asteral, which brings together two highly complementary businesses and highly skilled management teams. As a combined group, we will be in an even stronger position to help our customers deliver improved patient care by leveraging our expertise in the way that medical facilities are planned, procured, managed and maintained.”

Christopher Langley, who will take on a new role as Special Advisor to the Board, commented: “I am delighted that Asteral will benefit from this new relationship, which will allow Asteral to go from strength to strength, building on the significant growth of the past 3 years.”

Stephen Hodgson, Asteral’s Chief Operating Officer and founder, said: “The natural synergies that exist between Asteral and MESA will ensure that Asteral continues to deliver cost-effective and high-quality managed equipment and managed maintenance services to healthcare providers in the UK. The new Group will use its market scale and insight to leverage value for money, create new operational efficiencies and drive service innovations as we continue to seek to improve patient care through the effective management of medical equipment.”

Asteral awarded N3 accreditation for remote diagnostics

Asteral is delighted to announce it has been awarded N3 accreditation for remote diagnostic services, allowing Asteral’s maintenance engineers remote access to diagnose and resolve faults on critical medical equipment.

N3 is the national broadband network provider for the NHS – connecting all NHS locations and over one million employees across England and Wales. The secure network provides the foundations to deliver a number of NHS components – including the NHS Picture Archiving and Communications System – and will enable Asteral to establish secure connections from its own engineers to medical devices that are managed and maintained by Asteral, allowing remote diagnostics and fault resolution.

Approved in January 2014 and due for installation in March 2014, the N3 approval process has involved Asteral meeting a number of stringent criteria based on information governance standards set by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC).

Darren Woolley, Asteral’s Director of Programme Management, said: “This accreditation is another significant step forward for Asteral and its customers, as it strives to offer genuine alternatives and enhanced levels of service to existing and new customers. Access to the N3 network provides another parameter for Asteral to continue to deliver enhanced levels of service delivery, reduce downtime and increase efficiency.”

Asteral awarded place on new medical maintenance framework

Asteral, the UK’s leading vendor-independent managed equipment and managed maintenance service provider to the NHS, has been awarded a place on the North of England Commercial Procurement Collaborative (NOE CPC) Framework for Medical Equipment Maintenance.

The Framework, which went live on 2nd December 2013, offers its 39 members and associate members an additional route through which to procure medical equipment maintenance services from pre-approved and highly-qualified suppliers. The contract can also be accessed by non-members upon payment of a contract access fee. As an NOE CPC Framework provider, Asteral will offer a fully-managed, multi-vendor maintenance service that provides flexible and high-quality support for a wide range of critical medical equipment – Asteral Protect.

For every framework place awarded, Asteral has passed a series of rigorous checks – with every aspect of Asteral’s service, experience and contract examined to ensure that the service delivers the best possible value.

Christopher Langley, Asteral’s Chief Executive, said: “The NOE CPC Medical Equipment Maintenance Framework shows the growing appeal of multi-vendor maintenance services in the marketplace as a way to secure cash-savings for NHS Trusts. Through inclusion on this Framework, Asteral looks forward to enabling NHS Trusts to achieve these cash savings, whilst providing a quality service in line with clinical requirements.”

For more details on this contract visit www.noecpc.nhs.uk/contract/medical/new-medical-and-surgical-equipment-maintenance-and-calibration

For more details on Asteral Protect please contact: info@asteral.com

Asteral’s solutions can help drive down NHS procurement costs

As a recent report by Ernst and Young shows price variations of as much as 300% across some NHS Trusts, Asteral offers solutions to some of the biggest procurement challenges facing the NHS.

In February 2011 the National Audit Office concluded that better procurement could save the Health Service half a billion pounds a year and a recent study by Ernst and Young highlighted that approximately £500 million a year is being lost due to poor procurement processes and decisions. Ernst and Young spokesman, Joe Stringer, commented that the findings raised ‘…concerns about price variation and spending in the procurement of NHS suppliers.’ The report further highlighted that prices paid for basic hospital supplies and services varied by as much as 300% depending on the Trust.

The National Audit Office and Public Accounts Committee have both similarly criticised that ‘opportunities for efficiencies’ were being missed due to the new Foundation Trust status meaning hospitals procure their supplies more independently. The danger of this comes where a Trust has paid a higher price for the same equipment and will then continue to be charged higher prices instead of a fair price being tailored to the Trust’s requirements.

Jason Long, Asteral’s Business Development Director, understands these concerns and comments; “Price variation throughout the NHS is an issue which is having a profound effect on what are strained and dwindling budgets. In order to make significant savings Trusts need to evaluate procurement processes and consider other more cost-effective options. Asteral understands the challenges that Trusts are facing in the new NHS economy which is why we created a portfolio of highly-focused solutions that aim to address the current clinical and financial challenges. These solutions deliver significant cost savings and improve equipment performance & lifecycle management leaving staff free to focus on patient care and treatment.”

Asteral’s Chief Executive, Christopher Langley comments further; “As one of the UK’s leading independent buyers and providers of medical equipment, consumables and maintenance services, Asteral leverages significant buying power helping us achieve lowest possible prices from all manufacturers and pass these cost savings onto our customers. Asteral’s simple, transparent managed service approach is a viable and highly effective technique for generating savings and efficiencies within the NHS.”