Microsoft sees need to expand into health-IT software

Microsoft Corp. has acquired “health intelligence” software thatpulls patient data from various sources into one location andallows instant access to health records.

The software, called Azyxxi, which rhymes with “Trixie,” wasfirst deployed a decade ago in the emergency department ofWashington Hospital Center, the largest private hospital inWashington, D.C.

As part of the deal to acquire the intellectual property for thesoftware, Microsoft also will work with MedStar Health,which operates the hospital, to further develop and expand Azyxxi,company and hospital officials said Wednesday.

Software creators Craig Feied, Mark Smith, and Fidrik Iskandar,all medical doctors, and about 40 employees from the WashingtonHospital Center development team will join Microsoft and work onAzyxxi, it was announced during a press conference at thehospital.

Smith will stay as chairman of the hospital’s emergency medicinedepartment and also will be chief clinical liaison toMicrosoft.

Peter Neupert, vice president of Microsoft’s health solutionsgroup, will head a new company division that includes the employeesinvolved in the acquisition. That division will manage productdevelopment and commercialization with the goal of releasing Azyxxiin the U.S. and eventually globally.

Washington Hospital Center will be the “development lab” forongoing Azyxxi work, developing product prototypes and trying outnew features of the software.

Azyxxi was designed to allow data sharing across disparatesoftware systems and currently manages more than 40T bytes of livedata that can be immediately accessed, according to its developmentteam. It was built on Microsoft’s .Net Framework, with thecompany’s SQL Server database. It can be used on a variety ofdevices, including tablet and pocket PCs and scales relative to thesize of the health-care institution.

The software was described Wednesday as being easy to install,with a user friendly interface and “almost zero downtime.”

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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