Friday, February 15, 2008

Microsoft EMRs: What's in a Name?

Amalga. It's a name you will be hearing quite a bit about if you follow the news about electronic medical records. Amalga is Microsoft's new name for their portfolio of health care oriented applications. Marianne Kolbasuk McGee reports for Information Week:

The new "Amalga" brand is now the umbrella name for all Microsoft enterprise health care industry software, including products formerly known as Azyxxi and Hospital 2000, which were products Microsoft acquired. Microsoft's Amalga brand offering spans clinical, operational and financial functions in health care.

In addition to its Amalga product line for hospitals and other health care providers, Microsoft last October entered the consumer health care market with HealthVault, a platform that provides free Web-based health-related search and personal health record tools.
Touting new technology "on the architecture side" that provides better security and reliability, Microsoft seems to be continuing the consolidation of its efforts into a more vertical approach. These new enhancements are slated for general availability in fiscal 2009. Products under the Amalga name cover a wide array of information management needs throughout all aspects of the health care industry.
With its Microsoft Amalga product, formerly known as Azyxxi, Microsoft offers health care providers with a "unified intelligence system" that enables doctors and other clinicians to "get data anywhere data is stored to help them make more intelligent clinical decisions," said [Microsoft health solutions group's general manager of enterprise marketing Davide] Vigano. In most hospital environments, there are multiple disparate systems and applications in many departments, making it very difficult for say, an ER doctor, to access a patient's radiology or drug information in other systems, said Vigano.

Microsoft Amalga helps health care provider access that information to make better clinical decisions, he said. Azyxxi, now renamed Microsoft Amalga, was originally created by doctors and developers at from MedStar Health's Washington Hospital. Microsoft acquired the software in July 2006 and since then has been enhancing it for use by other organizations.

Right now Microsoft's seven early adopters of the software include a variety of different types of hospitals and health care providers. They include MedStar, New York-Presbyterian Hospital, Johns Hopkins Health System, Novant Health (in North and South Carolina), H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute in Tampa, Florida., St. Joseph Health System (including its entire operations in California, west Texas, and eastern New Mexico); and the Wisconsin Health Information Exchange, a regional health information organization, or RHIO.
The software suite known formerly known as Hospital 2000, targeted at a global market, has experienced a name change as well. It is now the Microsoft Amalga Hospital Information System. As pointed out in the Information Week article, both Azyxxi and Hospital 2000 were originally developed by smaller independent companies and then acquired by the software giant.

SOURCE: "Microsoft Re-Names Its Enterprise Health Care Software" 02/13/08
photo: screencapture of the Microsoft's Amalga page

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