By Stasha Igrutinovic
EBRD- and EU-funded business advice helps software company grow
A leading software provider in Serbia, Heliant is lending the service of its instant messaging platform to emergency medical units fighting the coronavirus pandemic.
The EBRD and the European Union’s Western Balkan Enterprise Development & Innovation Facility (WBEDIF) had supported the company in the past with an advisory project in direct marketing to help Heliant improve its brand awareness and secure new clients.
Back in the 1990s in Serbia, a group of students and professors from the Faculty of Electrical Engineering in Belgrade came together to work on an ambitious project to develop specialised software for medical centres.
These facilities were hampered by repetitive tasks, and the potential benefits of applying IT to their operations had yet to be explored. The team persevered and broke new ground with a multi-layered software architecture and open source technology – emerging concepts ahead of their time.
The moment was ripe for this group of researchers to emerge as the frontrunners on the digital health scene.
“Our success comes down to the people who make up Heliant,” says Vojislav Macic, the company’s general manager.
“Our progress would not have been possible without a team of dedicated professors with expertise, integrity and vision. Courage, dedication and hard work turned our vision into a reality.”
The early stages of the project revealed that IT systems used in healthcare were often inflexible and tied to departments.
In most cases, the available software was restricted to one branch of medicine and difficult to implement elsewhere. Heliant aimed to develop a flexible platform that was sufficiently abstract to respond to the needs of both specialised facilities and larger hospitals.
Starting with a website application that replaces physical copies of health records, the group progressed steadily on its path to a fully-fledged software solutions company that caters to medical centres of all sizes.
Putting IT know-how at the disposal of healthcare across the spectrum
Heliant’s ‘Health’ software integrates data from multiple sources within the same institution while supporting interactions between doctors and their patients. By automating key administrative processes that would otherwise overburden medical workers, Heliant products allow their users to focus on what matters.
Although unmistakably a leading provider of innovative software solutions, Heliant had established itself mainly in the public health sphere.
The EBRD, with support from the EU’s WBEDIF, engaged the business expertise of a consultant specialised in direct marketing to address the company’s growth gaps.
The consultant helped the company create a new website and devise a promotional strategy for increased visibility. As a result, Heliant gained new private sector clients and expanded its reach on the domestic market.
A unique solution for frontline healthcare workers
With the spread of Covid-19, Heliant’s extensive experience working with a broad range of healthcare providers made it an obvious choice as a software specialist to support efforts to combat the outbreak.
In order to facilitate communications between the Serbian government’s crisis management team and frontline medical units, Heliant is making its off-the-shelf ‘HERMES’ instant messaging software available on a national scale.
Over 30,000 doctors and nurses will be able to receive messages and instructions in real-time from the crisis management team.
“The adoption of ‘HERMES’ is good progress as it represents a true collaborative effort among healthcare professionals. Today, rapid advances in medicine emphasize the necessity for a powerful IT infrastructure to support both treatments and innovation.
Heliant is rising to the challenge and giving its utmost to help stave off the pandemic,” says Macic.