Microsoft targeting hospital IT with Azyxxi

Microsoft targeting hospital IT with Azyxxi

Summary: What Azyxxi does is utilize standards when available, but it’s not limited by them. So we can integrate information others can’t because they’re limited to standards. We take all the information, break it down into small parts, store it, and then put it together and present it in a usable format to the clinician.

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Azyxxi logo from MicrosoftThe name reads like a sneeze. It's pronounced ah-zic-see, and it's Microsoft's most direct attack yet on the hospital automation market.

The idea, says sales director Tom Poole, is to store all types of medical data -- registration data, lab results, pharmacy orders, all types of scans -- then deliver that in whatever form an emergency room physician might need.

The underlying technology is 10 years old and was the primary source of data across the MedStar Health system in Washington D.C. when Microsoft acquired it in July, 2006.

Since there's already a medical software outfit called MedStar, and the founders were calling their system Insight, another generic name, Microsoft went with an imaginary word it could easily trademark.

Right now there is little Microsoft branding across the Azyxxi Web site, but that's going to change after Microsoft formally announces its strategies later this week, Poole says.

Meanwhile Microsoft has been announceing "early adopters" like New York Presbyterian Hospital, Johns Hopkins Health System, and Novant Health Systems in Winston-Salem, NC, whose success it hopes will spread the good word.

Tom Todd Taylor carries the title physician-executive, and says he had access to six clinical systems with eight different passwords when he retired from practice a year ago.

"There are many silos of data," he says. "The systems aren’t interoperable. There are standards efforts ongoing, but there are multiple versons of the standards. It will take several years to get true interoperability based on standards. Plus there is paper.

"What Azyxxi does is utilize standards when available, but it’s not limited by them. So we can integrate information others can’t because they’re limited to standards.

"We take all the information, break it down into small parts, store it, and then  put it together and present it in a usable format to the clinician."

Bill Gatus of Borg close-up from the 1999 Boardwatch coverDespite all the work of the last 10 years, Poole says "Only 10% of physicians have automation today." This means the market is ready to break-out from the early adopters into broad acceptance.

Microsoft believes its timing here is right, and the market is ready to say gesundheit to Azyxxi.

Are you?

Topics: Microsoft, Enterprise Software

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6 comments
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  • "not limited by (standards)"

    Translation: bits check in, but they don't check out.
    Put another way, "all your health records are belong to us."

    Controlling on-seventh of the US economy should do wonders for MS' bottom line.
    anonymous
    • Not what they meant

      I think that I may have implied something here that was not meant.

      The person in question was saying that the system would deal with data which is not yet part of a standard, just as it will deal with standards-based data.

      If a cat scanner's output is a proprietary file format, the Azzyxxi system will still handle it in their database and present to the clinician, just as they would with standards-based data sets.
      DanaBlankenhorn
  • Azyxxi: Homegrown

    Comments taken from [url=http://www.ucsf.edu/its/listserv/emed-l/27688.html]here[/url]:

    [i]"...The Microsoft plan, analysts say, could be risky. The software Microsoft is purchasing ??? the price was not disclosed ??? is a homegrown system that has not been used outside a few hospitals. It has no installed base of customers, and there are already several established suppliers of clinical information technology systems, including Cerner, Epic, G.E., Eclypsis and others.
    Most of the big health care software suppliers, analysts point out, are also big customers for Microsoft operating systems, databases and programming tools. ???This puts Microsoft in the uncomfortable position of potentially competing against its major customers,??? said Dr. Thomas Handler, a health technology analyst at Gartner. ..."[/i]
    D T Schmitz
    • Excellent Point

      ...but for years now Microsoft has essentially been "eating its young" in this way, finding ways to "embrace and extend" its niche into the applications area.
      DanaBlankenhorn
      • A Life and Death Matter

        This is a different story--as you and I know.
        D T Schmitz
        • I don't know that it is

          Microsoft has been moving into the enterprise market throughout this decade, pushing Windows as a mainframe-replacement operating system and delivering applications based on that premise.

          This is just what it did in the PC market during the 1990s, entering new markets once they were proven by new companies, then coming to dominate those same markets.

          The hospital IT market is an enterprise play. Microsoft wants to dominate there just as they dominate on the desktop.

          And anyone whose enterprise software is running mainly under Windows should take note of that fact.
          DanaBlankenhorn