Spacelabs Healthcare launched monitoring the health of NASA astronauts; now it designs, makes, sells, and services diagnostic and therapeutic equipment for Earth-bound patients. The company operates through four divisions: Patient Monitoring & Connectivity, Anesthesia Delivery & Ventilation, Diagnostic Cardiology, and Clinician Education. Its Ultraview bedside patient monitor and telemetry systems monitor patient data and transmit it to caregivers through a wireless network. Its Blease anesthesia delivery systems and ventilators are used in operative and perioperative settings. Spacelabs Healthcare is owned by OSI Systems and accounts for about 30% of its parent company's sales.
Spacelabs Healthcare operates worldwide with offices in the US and Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, India, Singapore, and the UK. The company distributes its products in more than 100 countries.
Spacelabs' Clinician Education division offers clients dozens of self-paced, online Continuing Education courses to keep up with the latest technology and medical techniques. Courses include airway management, cardiac monitoring cross training diseases of critical concern, emergency room cross-training, heart medications, infection control, and labor and delivery cross-training, among others. Along with the ability to choose from dozens of online courses, medical providers can choose to attend on-site clinical education for products, advanced practice, and installation support.
Revenues for Spacelabs Healthcare increased $20.6 million, or 10%, to $235.6 million in fiscal 2012 (ends June), vs.the prior year. The increase was primarily attributable to a $20 million increase in its patient monitoring product line sales, primarily in North America.
Spacelabs partners with some of the biggest hitters in the medical technology and security/defense industries to develop new products for its medical provider customers. They include McKesson, Cerner, Meditech, and Baxter, among many others. Along with working with partner companies to expand its product line, Spacelabs makes occasional acquisitions. Over the years it has acquired and absorbed complementary technologies such as Blease Medical and Del Mar Reynolds. It also forms alliances like the one it has with Uscom, a non-invasive cardiac monitoring company.
One way Spacelabs controls costs is by performing some research and development operations in China. Spacelabs is intent on developing a dedicated line of products for emerging markets. Indeed, in 2012 it won a big contract with hospitals in Venezuela to provide patient monitoring and connectivity products.
Secure in its chosen industries, the company is focused on filling in niches and spreading the use of its products. It markets a neonatal monitoring suite and an enhanced information technology product to allow sharing of patient information throughout hospital networks. Spacelabs is working to spread the use of its ambulatory blood pressure monitors, which a patient wears while away from their doctor's office. Because many people experience blood pressure spikes from anxiety around doctors, the readings from ambulatory monitors are considered more useful.
OSI Systems is a good fit for Spacelabs because OSI has a strong presence in both the health care and homeland security/defense marketplaces, which give Spacelabs access to innovative, high-tech solutions it might not otherwise have it if its parent company was solely focused on health care.
Curious as to how a company that worked with NASA became a health care company? Spacelabs was tapped by NASA in 1958 to resolve wireless monitoring of Gemini astronauts' vital signs. The company has since built on that Telemetry solution with a long history of firsts, innovations and developments. Beginning in the latter half of the century Spacelab focused on patient-centered service, Spacelabs Healthcare an extension of clinicians' care teams. – less