Microsoft has been carefully moving into the field of healthcare software, perhaps most publicly with its HealthVault service that lets users share and control access to their own medical records, but also with its Amalga services aimed at hospitals, healthcare organizations, and researchers. Today, Microsoft made another investment in the field, acquiring the privately-held healthcare software developer Sentillion. Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed; Microsoft plans to leverage Sentillion’s software and technology to bolster its Amalga Unified Intelligence System and help with integrating information from a variety of healthcare applications.
“Microsoft and Sentillion share a vision of a connected health system in which the free and rapid flow of information, coupled with streamlined access to a hospital’s myriad healthcare applications, empowers doctors and nurses to perform their roles with greater insight, speed, and effectiveness,” said Microsoft Health Solutions Group corporate VP Peter Neupert, in a statement. “Joining efforts with Sentillion will allow us to amplify and accelerate the impact we can make in health IT and health globally.”
Sentillion already has more than 1,000 hospitals in its customer base, where Microsoft’s relatively new Amalga system is running at a little over 100 hospitals. Sentillion’s software is designed to bridge information stores in a variety of proprietary systems, including legacy applications, Windows systems, Unix-based servers, and even Web-based data sources. Sentillion will continue to offer its products and operate out of its Massachusetts location, while Microsoft will work on combining the companies’ technologies.
The digitization of healthcare records and information is fast becoming a hot-button issue in both technological and political circles, since easy accessibility of medical information creates rampant opportunities privacy abuses, misuse, and fraud. On the other hand, being able to access appropriate medical information quickly can literally be the difference between life and death in some cases, and many prevent common medical errors.