Nashville-based Amplion Ramps Up Operations

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E.J. Boyer
Staff Writer
Nashville Business Journal


Six months after completing a $3.75 million capital raise and changing its name from Dalcon Communications, Nashville-based Amplion Clinical Communications is ramping up operations.

The company, which makes a wireless in-room patient monitoring system for hospitals, has 14 hospital clients running on the system and a backlog of 68 ready to install. The capital raise is going, in part, toward building up the company’s inventory and hiring more employees to match installation pace with client growth.

Amplion describes itself as a “30-year-old start-up,” an apt descriptor and an interesting case study. Founded in 1979 as a vertical software company, Amplion had no reach into health care until about four years ago, when the company’s founder, David Condra, was installing voice-over phone software at a hospital.

Like many entrepreneurs, especially in Nashville, Condra thought he could develop a better patient alarm and monitoring system for hospitals, which are notoriously noisy and active places.
The Dalcon team developed Amplion Alert, a wireless system that transmits real-time alerts and patient information directly from the room to caregivers via text, using the system’s cell phones. The system monitors things like rounding, patient falls and patient calls. When an alert is received and a caregiver answers, the task is updated real-time on screens at high-traffic areas like a nurses station.

“It builds visibility and accountability, but also teamwork,” said Tom Stephenson, the company’s president.

The company began to focus solely on developing and selling the monitoring system about 18 months ago, and in November 2012 changed the company’s name to Amplion to reflect that business decision.
Installing the Amplion Alert system isn’t cheap. It runs about $250,000 to $300,000 in one-time costs for a 100-bed hospital, plus about $2,000 per month in ongoing costs. The company believes the system pays for itself in money saved through increased efficiency and preventing hospital falls and pressure ulcers, which Medicare doesn’t pay for.

To bolster its transition from a tech company to a health care tech company, Amplion is bringing on health care experts. In January, it announced the addition of Stephenson, who previously served as president of Health Management Systems, a Nashville-based provider of health care information systems. The company has since hired two nurses to help troubleshoot clinical issues and coach hospitals through the on-boarding process.

Article Source: Nashville Business Journal

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