Microsoft acquires health-IT software

Microsoft acquires "health intelligence" software from MedStar Health, which operates Washington Hospital Center in Washington, D.C.

Microsoft has acquired "health intelligence" software that pulls patient data from various sources into one location and allows instant access to health records.

The software, called Azyxxi, which rhymes with "Trixie," was first deployed a decade ago in the emergency department of Washington Hospital Center, the largest private hospital in Washington, D.C. As part of the deal to acquire the intellectual property for the software, 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 Washington Hospital Center development team will join Microsoft and work on Azyxxi, it was announced during a press conference at the hospital. Smith will stay as chairman of the hospital's emergency medicine department and also will be chief clinical liaison to Microsoft.

Peter Neupert, vice president of Microsoft's health solutions group, will head a new company division that includes the employees involved in the acquisition. That division will manage product development and commercialization with the goal of releasing Azyxxi in the U.S. and eventually globally.

Washington Hospital Center will be the "development lab" for ongoing Azyxxi work, developing product prototypes and trying out new features of the software.

Azyxxi was designed to allow data sharing across disparate software systems and currently manages more than 40T bytes of live data that can be immediately accessed, according to its development team. It was built on Microsoft's .Net Framework, with the company's SQL Server database. It can be used on a variety of devices, including tablet and pocket PCs and scales relative to the size 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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