The push to automate medical-related transactions is gathering momentum with ehealthcareasia.com expected to launch an electronic network in response to the unveiling of rival Health Care International Holdings' network. Philip Kirkwood, executive director of Quality HealthCare Asia - parent of ehealthcareasia.com - said yesterday the online medical transaction exchange had already signed up 600 doctors as members. Chief operating officer Arthur Kwan said the firm had teamed up with two insurance firms so far. Meanwhile, Health Care's 'virtual private network' will link parties involved in medical-related transactions, including private clinics, insurance firms, pharmaceutical firms, hospitals, laboratories and credit-card centres. The network will help cut administrative costs associated with medical transactions and improve communication efficiency. Patients' records will be digitised and transferred electronically, while doctors will be able to collect payments from insurance firms and procure medical equipment and medicine online. Health Care chairman Jones Fok said 514 medical practitioners had signed up to the network, which hopes to enlist an additional 1,000 members by year end. The network will collect revenue from clinic visit transactions, medical equipment and medicine trading and patient database management. He said the firm had invested about HK$80 million in the network, which was expected to turn a profit next year. It has teamed up with six or seven insurance firms and a number of pharmaceutical firms to offer the service. Sources said Health Care had applied for a Growth Enterprise Market listing planned for next month or October.