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GE, Microsoft form healthcare joint venture

Posting in Healthcare

The joint venture combines Microsoft's ecosystem with GE's clinical workflow tools.

General Electric and Microsoft have formed a healthcare joint venture focused on patient outcomes as well as real-time data. The companies are planning to develop an open platform as well as clinical applications.

With the move, GE has formed ventures with both sides of Wintel. GE and Intel already have a partnership focused on telehealth. The Intel and Microsoft ventures with GE both have 50-50 ownership splits.

Healthcare costs are a big focus for technology companies. GE, a major provider of gear and information systems in the healthcare industry, is partnering with leading technology companies. Meanwhile, IBM is taking mini-Watsons into hospitals for diagnosis and analytics support. With healthcare costs surging, a lot of money will be spent on technology in an attempt to make systems more efficient.

The joint venture combines Microsoft's ecosystem with GE's clinical workflow tools. In a statement, GE CEO Jeff Immelt said his company and Microsoft are "complementary" and the joint venture will "further advance the two companies’ shared vision of a connected, patient-centric healthcare system."

According to the companies, the joint venture will launch in the first half of 2012 and Michael Simpson, general manager at GE Healthcare IT, will be CEO. The venture hasn't been named yet, but will be based near Microsoft's campus in Redmond, Washington.

Among the key points:

  • Microsoft's applications will connect to GE's hardware and be implemented by GE Healthcare IT.
  • Microsoft contributes Amalga, a health intelligence platform, Vergence, a context management system, and expreSSO, a single sign-on technology. Many of Microsoft's technologies in the joint venture were acquired from Sentillion.
  • GE contributes eHealth, an information exchange, and Qualibria, a clinical knowledge management application.
  • The overall goal is to provide a "healthcare performance management suite." Both GE and Microsoft will sell their own wares in the healthcare market.

Larry Dignan

Editor-in-Chief

Editor-in-Chief Larry Dignan is editor-in-chief of SmartPlanet and ZDNet. He is also editorial director of TechRepublic. Previously, he was an editor at eWeek, Baseline and CNET News. He has written for WallStreetWeek.com, Inter@ctive Week, New York Times and Financial Planning. He holds degrees from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and the University of Delaware. He is based in New York but resides in Pennsylvania. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure