CRANEWARE has signed a contract to distribute the healthcare analytics software developed by David Sibbald's Aridhia Informatics in the United States.

Stock market listed Craneware has traditionally provided software for the US healthcare enterprise and revenue tracking market.

Now it has secured three years of exclusive distribution rights on Edinburgh based Aridhia's Analytixagility platform which is mainly used to help collate patient data.

Keith Neilson, Craneware chief executive, said he has known Mr Sibbald for around 15 years having been introduced through investor Scottish Equity Partners.

Mr Neilson said: "When David started getting his healthcare stuff off the ground we kept an eye on it. It just became the right time for us to take it across the US.

"Aridhia have historically been clinically focused while we are more operationally focused within the hospital.

"As we have been predicting for a while those two sides are becoming closer in US healthcare. We will take it to our US customer base, which is roughly a quarter of the US hospitals, and then on top of that will take it out to prospects as well."

Mr Sibbald, who sold software business Atlantech for £118m in 2000, said: "US healthcare providers have traditionally focused on financial outcomes and cutting costs but they are increasingly adopting a patient centric approach which will, in turn, have a positive effect on their bottom line.

"Craneware works with some of the biggest healthcare providers in the US so we're very pleased to be partnering with them and using our integrated healthcare informatics solutions to deliver better operational results for the Craneware customer, hospitals and therefore, better health outcomes for their patients."

That came as Craneware, which is based in the Scottish capital but makes the bulk of its revenues in the US, announced a 10 per cent increase in pre-tax profits from $4.8m to $5.3m for the six months to December 31.

Revenue edged up two per cent from $21.1m to $21.6m with the company's net cash position growing from $30.6m to $36.4m.

Craneware bought health app firm Kestros, which sells into the NHS, in August last year and said its integration and rebranding as Craneware Health was essentially complete.

A further product was sold into an NHS trust in the period but Mr Neilson confirmed the longer term potential for Craneware Health lies in the US.

He said: "We have done some preliminary meetings across in the US and will be launching a flavour of that product some time around October.

"It gives us a communication platform in an area called patient access in the US. It is a way for the healthcare provider, be it the hospital or clinician, to communicate directly with the patient before and after any procedure to make sure the treatment course is the most appropriate.

"It also starts to establish where that patient is within the health system itself which in the US when there can be multiple competing health systems in a local area that is very important."

Mr Neilson said the business is also close to launching some cloud computing based products which he described as "leading edge" in terms of user experience.

Roger Phillips at Investec reiterated his buy rating on Craneware stating the numbers were mostly positive.