Telus Corp. has made another acquisition to broaden its e-health related offerings.

The communications company said Wednesday it has bought the Canadian rights to ZRx Prescriber, a Web-based app for desktops and mobile devices owned by ZoomMed of Brossard, Que., that processes drug prescriptions in Ontario and Quebec.

The deal, for $6.8 million, incudes the Canadian operations and intellectual property for the service. According to a message from ZoomMeD president Yves Marmet, the money will enable his company to focus on marketing ZRx Prescriber in the U.S.

ZRx Prescriber allows physicians to use a mobile device write prescriptions that tells whether the patient has insurance coverage. With the acquisition, Telus says it will become the first national healthcare technology provider that offers insurance coverage validation at the time of prescription. If the physician can write a script within the patient’s coverage it will speed insurance claims, the carrier said.

Telus says the app works on any mobile device
Telus says the app works on any mobile device

The app prompts doctors based on their prescription habits and their most commonly prescribed drugs for each condition; they also have access to contextual drug information from pharmaceutical companies about new drugs and drug substitutions. It is used by 520 medical clinics in Quebec and Ontario to process 400,000 new drug prescriptions monthly.

Telus Health said it plans to gradually integrate ZRx Prescriber functionality into the electronic medical records systems of the carriers that are used by more than 13,000 physicians across Canada.

“This acquisition builds upon our EMR leadership position and claims and benefits expertise, and allows us to have a more direct and positive impact on the patient experience, which ultimately leads to better health outcomes for Canadians,” Paul Lepage, president of Telus Health, said in a statement. “Medication management is a pain point in Canada’s healthcare system as most processes in use today aren’t automated, take longer to execute and are at a higher risk of error. By integrating innovative features from ZRx Prescriber into our already robust and secure EMR solution, we can facilitate better collaboration among healthcare providers, limit prescription errors, maintain customer confidentiality, reduce patient frustration and make the healthcare processes more accurate and efficient.”

ZoomMed’s other products are PraxisLab, a pharmacy management suite; and EvPsych, an electronic medical health record for behavioral health practitioners like psychiatrists.

The deal with Telus “will allow us to strenghten our financial structure and to free valuable financial, human, technological and strategic ressources in order to better address the international challenges ahead of us. By doing so, it will also allow us to focus our business towards more favorable and receptive markets to our technological environment and business model.”