NEWS: Agency sought to publicise Net-style medical software for GPs

The row over the Government’s pill warning has prompted an Internet- style medical information firm to speed up its efforts to hire a public relations agency.

The row over the Government’s pill warning has prompted an Internet-

style medical information firm to speed up its efforts to hire a public

relations agency.



The Aldershot-based World Health Network has developed a computer

software facility to carry clinical information, practice news, job ads

and Department of Health advice via a private network to GPs and health

service professionals.



After spending the last five years developing the system, the company is

now looking to hire a PR consultancy to promote itself among doctors and

the financial community in the United Kingdom and Europe.



It has already invited three agencies - Shandwick, Burson-Marsteller and

Hill & Knowlton - to pitch for the business and expects to make an

appointment within the next six weeks.



Managing director Simon Currey said: ‘We have moved from being a

development company into commercialising our service.



‘In the past it was in our interests to remain unknown because it would

have encouraged people to launch a competitive product. Now we need to

make income and promote ourselves more widely.’



He added that last week’s pill scare, which saw unprepared doctors

swamped by millions of calls from women worried about the link between

deep vein thrombosis and certain brands of contraceptive pill, had

encouraged the company to place a priority on the search for a public

relations agency.



‘It would have completely avoided the embarrassment that GPs faced if

they had had our service,’ said Currey. ‘And a public relations company

could have made hay with that kind of thing. It’s an absolutely

brilliant opportunity for us.’



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