Orion Health inks deal to purchase Microsoft’s eHealth assets

By Molly Merrill
09:44 AM

Orion Health will acquire Microsoft's hospital information system (HIS) software assets, including RIS/PACS, previously known as Amalga HIS. The two companies will also collaborate to co-market their health information exchange (HIE) and data aggregation and analysis products.

Under the memorandum of understanding, the companies will co-market their products Orion Health HIE and Microsoft Amalga Unified Intelligence System (UIS) – to the public and private HIE and integrated delivery network (IDN) markets.

Orion Health will sell and market the HIS and RIS/PACS software as Orion Health HPM (Health Process Management) suite. The new software will complement the company’s existing range of clinical workflow and data integration applications, said officials.

The Microsoft HIS and RIS/PACS products were marketed in Southeast Asia under the brand name Amalga HIS and Amalga RIS/PACS until July 2010, when Microsoft discontinued development and sales of the products. Microsoft continues to develop and market Amalga UIS (Unified Intelligence System), a data aggregation and analysis platform, worldwide.

Orion Health's CEO, Ian McCrae, described the acquisition as "transformative" for Asia Pacific healthcare as well as Orion Health, representing a significant milestone in the company’s vision to develop a next-generation suite of eHealth technologies that enable patient engagement in their own care.

"The addition of the Microsoft’s HIS assets is a natural extension of Orion Health’s portfolio of products that enable us to offer a complete solution to a wide range of hospitals and health organizations in Asia Pacific,” he said. “The health sector in a number of Asia Pacific countries is overdue to make the transformative leap to the next generation of systems which integrate the complete healthcare ecosystem rather than siloing information in individual organizations or facilities."

Bumrungrad International Hospital, Thailand’s most well-known private hospital, has a long history with the Amalga HIS product. “It has enabled us to develop a more streamlined healthcare organization and we are excited about the opportunity this announcement represents,” said Dennis Brown, corporate CEO, Bumrungrad. “It’s a positive move that is consistent with our vision for building a world class healthcare organization.”

McCrae said the acquisition of Microsoft’s HIS assets is another key building block in the expansion of Orion Health’s world class engineering organization. “The Thailand HIS development operation is absolutely world class and will be Orion Health’s fourth development centre, the others being Auckland, Christchurch and Canberra,” he said. It will also provide the company with a base from which to expand its Southeast Asian organization.

“As the HIE market matures and the U.S. accountable care organization (ACO) market heats up in the face of the changing reimbursement policies, HIEs and health systems are seeking to not only effectively exchange patient information, but to analyze, model and report on it too," said Paul Viskovich, president, Orion Health North America. "Bringing together Orion Health's software and healthcare expertise with Amalga UIS, Microsoft's proven data aggregation and analysis product, gives healthcare organizations the industry’s most powerful, best-in-class health data management solution


Officials say the collaboration between Microsoft and Orion Health will enable public and private HIEs and IDNs to deploy Orion Health’s health information exchange and workflow solutions alongside the data aggregation, analytics and reporting capabilities of Microsoft Amalga UIS. The combination of the solutions will enable HIEs and IDNs to more easily view and report on a broad set of individual and population patient data, helping to improve quality of care and care coordination across the community while also reducing costs.

“Microsoft is fully committed to improving the delivery and economics of patient care in global and evolving healthcare markets," said Nate McLemore, general manager, Health Solutions Group, Microsoft Corp. "Through our joint efforts with eHealth leaders like Orion Health, we are addressing the unique needs and challenges of regional healthcare delivery with the right combination of complementary software solutions."