Everyone wants a piece of the Health IT pie; from Google to Microsoft, and Intel to Oracle, all are pushing for the largest piece of the growing Health IT market. Most recently, Microsoft has made plans to acquire Sentillion, a privately held health care IT company that provides software applications for caregivers and physicians.
Microsoft plans to invest in Sentillion’s technologies, which includes Vergence, a clinical workstation platform that streamlines caregivers’ access to applications and patient data, and Tap & Go and Tap2, which provide immediate access to clinical applications with the “tap of a passive proximity badge,” according to the company’s Website.
This is one of many partnerships Microsoft has made in 2009, including a partnership with the American Medical Association (AMA) that will increase physicians’ access to patient records through Microsoft’s HealthVault application. Mayo Clinic has also made an agreement with Microsoft to use HealthVault for its Mayo Clinic Health Manager, which allows patients to upload data from home health devices and receive various health reminders.
While major deals with AMA and Mayo clinic make Microsoft a major player in Health IT, it still faces increased competition from rivals such as Google, which began marketing its own online personal health record, Google Health, about a year after Microsoft launched HealthVault.
Google has recently embarked on a partnership with CMS (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services) for a pilot program that would allow Medicare beneficiaries to input their Medicare claims into Google Health.
Intel has also announced that it would add more connectivity options to its Intel Health Guide, a compact white device that allows users to check their recent health history and connect with a physician or health care provider. Intel and General Electric have partnered, and will invest $250 million over the next five years to develop health care IT technology, including the Intel Health Guide.
As the Federal government pours billions of dollars into Health IT development, the private sector is ready to capitalize. The competition as merely only begun, and it will be interesting to see who eventually comes out ahead, with the largest piece of the Health IT pie.