Two major U.S. healthcare information technology vendors gained significant footholds in Europe this week, as GE Medical Systems closed one acquisition and announced another, while Cerner Corp. won a major contract with the British government.
On Thursday, GE Medical, a Waukesha, Wis.-based division of General Electric Co., closed a $2.4 billion purchase of Instrumentarium, a Finnish firm that produces clinical IT software, medical imaging and critical care systems. Instrumentarium's Helsinki headquarters will become the European base for GE Medical Systems Information Technology operations.
GE Medical IT President and CEO Dow Wilson calls the deal "one of the most significant acquisitions in the history of medical technology and information."
GE followed that transaction Friday by disclosing its intention to purchase Amersham plc, a British medical diagnostics and biotechnology company, for $9.5 billion in stock. The company says it expects to gain U.S. and European regulatory approval in the first half of next year.
Earlier this week, Cerner, of Kansas City, Mo., announced it has been asked to build an electronic patient scheduling system for Britain's government-funded National Health Service. The system will allow the 50 million NHS enrollees to book physician and hospital appointments online when it goes into service next summer, British officials say.