Microsoft deepened its presence in the healthcare field with the purchase of the Azyxxi software tool developed by physicians at MedStar Health's Washington (D.C.) Hospital Center in 1996.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but it was announced that Microsoft and MedStar Health -- the largest healthcare provider in the Washington-Baltimore region -- had entered into a "strategic alliance" that includes keeping Azyxxi's developers -- Craig Feied, Mark Smith and Fidrik Iskandar -- in position to support the software's further development and expansion. Also, about 40 employees from the Azyxxi development team based at Washington Hospital will continue their work on the product. Smith will also continue as the chairman of Washington's emergency medicine department as well as serving as the chief clinical liaison to Microsoft.
According to a news release, Azyxxi "excels in environments with fragmented systems that traditionally don't share data" and is able to answer specific questions at high speed while providing caregivers instant access to scanned documents, X-rays, and other scanned diagnostic images.
Washington Hospital will serve as the Azyxxi "development laboratory" where new prototypes and features will be developed and deployed.
The employees will be incorporated into Microsoft's newly formed health solutions group, led by Peter Neupert who rejoined Microsoft last September as corporate vice president to help coordinate the company's global health strategy.