Microsoft readies a consumer healthcare platform

Posted by sumeethevans on June 29 2007, 8:36 PM. Posted in Azyxxi.

Microsoft has made no secret about the fact it has designs on being a healthcare-IT contender. But what the company has kept under wraps, at least until now, was what it planned to do on the consumer side of the healthcare space.

Sure, there’ve been hints here and there that Microsoft was readying some kind of “Windows Live Healthcare” offering. And it’s not a huge surprise that Microsoft would be considering some kind of consumer-facing offering, given that Microsoft rival Google and AOL Founder Steve Case’s Revolution Health are rushing headlong into the patient-information world.

Microsoft is, indeed, readying a consumer healthcare platform, confirmed Steve Shihadeh, General Manager for Sales, Marketing and Solutions with Microsoft’s Health Solutions Group.

“We are focused on both the enterprise and consumer space,” Shihadeh said, during a meeting we had in New York this week. Healthcare isn’t just another vertical market to Microsoft. Microsoft’s Health Solutions Group has over 600 employees in sales, marketing and product development. (There are 13 physicians on staff, as well.) Health Sciences is an incubation project that falls under Chief Research and Strategy Officer Craig Mundie’s domain.

Products already known to be part of Microsoft Health Solutions’ purview are the Medstory medical Web-search engine that Microsoft bought in February, and Azyxxi, an integrated “health intelligence” system that Microsoft acquired in July 2006.

Microsoft is looking to Medstory to allow users to conduct and save searches via which they will be able to “build a personal health record,” Shihadeh explained.

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