Transformational deal creates European leader in Healthcare IT
12 October 2020
Yann Chareton: It was always Giorgio’s ambition to make Dedalus the number one healthcare IT provider in Europe. When we invested in 2017, the company had just completed a transformational deal that made it the clear leader in Italy, and over the next three years together we consolidated that acquisition, reinforced the group structure, built up the business in France and invested in an innovative new product suite. In three years, Dedalus grew from €80 million of revenues to about €210 million, but the opportunity to acquire Agfa-Gevaert’s healthcare software business takes the business to another level.
Giorgio Moretti: With Agfa-Gevaert, we are now the leader in Italy, Germany and France with nearly €500 million of annual revenues and 3,500 employees. This makes us by far the biggest player in European healthcare IT and puts us in a unique position – the only international player in this market that is not American. We have created a European leader with the scale to invest efficiently in R&D.
position in Europe with leadership position in Germany, Italy and France
Yann Chareton: From Ardian’s perspective, we could have exited in 2019 but when the Agfa opportunity came up, we decided to reinvest significantly and start again with the same kind of project – a transformational deal but this time at the European level. This is a very significant transaction for Dedalus – and for the European software industry – but also for us. As a Continental European leader, it allowed us to leverage our platform. We worked a lot with our German colleagues to get this deal done.
Giorgio Moretti: This is a very strategic company for Europe. Healthcare represents 11%-12% of Europe’s GDP and the challenge of creating a sustainable system is huge because the population is ageing and costs are growing dramatically. Dedalus plays a really important and unique role in the health system because our products manage both clinical activities and the way the whole service is organized. I believe Europe is very late in recognizing IT and digitalization as fundamental in optimizing the quality of clinical care as well as the sustainability of the entire system.
Yann Chareton: Our ultimate ambition is that Dedalus will be the organization that drives the digitalization of the Continental European health system.
Giorgio Moretti: The clinical profession has gone through an amazing evolution over the past 50 years, but there really hasn’t been any major transformation in the way clinicians work as a result of IT. A lot of processes have been automated but nobody has been able to rethink entire clinical processes using the kind of IT tools we now have. Thanks to our market position, the new product suite we have developed and our systemic vision of the entire market, I think we can do it.
Yann Chareton: We see huge opportunities in the longer term. Today the data produced in hospitals and healthcare systems are barely used for clinical solutions. All these data are produced by clinical studies, which use very small samples. Healthcare systems have not been organized to produce data that can be used by people undertaking clinical research. The challenge for us in terms of innovation is to rethink the way. IT is organized in order to make this data available for clinical purposes. Not only in terms of the health management of populations, but to really think about how to cure people and to learn how to do it better using data. That’s very difficult today because of the low level of technology and awareness of what IT can offer in the healthcare environment, and sometimes because of a lack of funding. If we could use even a small portion of the data we will produce, it would change everything – the development of drugs, monitoring of efficiency, time to market, etc.
employees at Dedalus
Giorgio Moretti: Our goal is to capture and contextualize all kinds of clinical data in a standardized way so that we can transform the data into clinical information and knowledge that can be shared and understood by everyone. If it’s possible to share high-quality clinical information, we will be able to apply best practices, which means higher quality for the patient, reduced clinical risk for the professionals and a more efficient system with better control over costs.
Yann Chareton: We have always liked Giorgio’s long-term vision for Dedalus, but I have also been amazed by the capacity of this company to reinvent itself and manage its own transformation at a very rapid pace. We think it’s in Ardian’s DNA to back successful entrepreneurs in this kind of project.