GE, Microsoft in Joint Venture to Form Health Care IT Company
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Microsoft and GE will form a joint venture in health care IT to build an interoperable platform that enables the management of patient populations and chronic diseases. The yet-to-be-named company, announced Dec. 8, will build an interoperable health care platform that could reduce data incompatibility, or information silos, among various electronic health records (EHRs), radiology images and systems.
GE and Microsoft plan to launch the new company, pending regulatory approval, in early 2012. Michael J. Simpson, vice president and general manager at GE Healthcare IT, will be the joint venture's CEO. It will establish headquarters near Microsoft in Redmond, Wash.
The new company will inherit several existing health care products and their teams. Microsoft will contribute its experience in developing health IT platforms, while GE will focus on software for clinical administrative workflows. The two tech giants will also continue their separate efforts in the health care vertical.
With payment models in health care moving from pay-per-visit to paying for outcomes, doctors need more visibility into patients' histories and visits with other providers.
GE and Microsoft will combine several existing products into a joint performance-management suite. Microsoft will integrate its health intelligence platform Amalga, which allows doctors to view patients' medical histories from multiple databases. Amalga is the backbone behind several health information exchanges (HIEs), including projects in Hawaii and Miami, where health histories are combined with academic records.
Microsoft will also move its single sign-on and context-management program Vergence and single sign-on application expreSSO to the new joint venture.
The HealthVault personal health portal will remain with Microsoft as a cloud-based service. In addition, Microsoft will continue to market SQL Server, SharePoint and Windows Server to hospitals.
Meanwhile, GE will integrate its HIE platform eHealth into the new company along with Qualibria, a clinical knowledge application environment GE developed along with Salt Lake City health system Intermountain Healthcare and nonprofit medical and research organization Mayo Clinic.
The Centricity EHR platform will remain part of GE. GE will also continue to grow its business of CT scanners and MRI devices as well as applications for radiologists and cardiologists.
For more, read the eWeek article Microsoft, GE to Form Joint Health Care IT Company.