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Microsoft joins with hospital

Kingdom at the cutting edge

Published on October 30, 2007

Microsoft joins with hospital

Monday People CEO Sohn Chongsrichan, centre, together with Passapol Limpisirisan, right, and Wiboon Leepakpreeda, co-chief creative officers.

Thailand has become Microsoft Corp's worldwide healthcare research centre following that company's purchase of software and assets to streamline administrative and medical record-keeping at Bangkok's Bumrungrad Hospital.

This is the third acquisition for Microsoft's healthcare group but its first outside of the United States. The company is looking to enter the hospital-software market.

The financial terms of the deal remain confidential, but the US-based giant said it bought software called Hospital 2000 and its intellectual-property rights from Luxembourg-based software company Global Care Solutions.

Global Care has worked with hospitals in this country for seven years. Its 71 Thailand staff will also move with the deal.

Bumrungrad, which owns 14 per cent of Global Care, saw its share price rise Bt1 yesterday to Bt45.50.

Microsoft (Thailand) managing director Patama Chantaruck said the company would establish a healthcare research centre in Bangkok and work with Microsoft centres in China and India. The Bangkok centre will work exclusively on healthcare software for worldwide sales.

"Global Care software is unique and developed to run on a Microsoft platform," Patama said.

Thailand will be a springboard to expand into healthcare markets in Asia, especially China, and around the world, the company said.

In Thailand, the company will seek to sell software to both public and private hospitals, Patama said.

Craig Mundie, Microsoft Corp's chief research and strategy officer, said his company would distribute Global Care products internationally, along with others developed by Microsoft.

The healthcare industry spends US$30 billion (Bt1 trillion) each year on hardware and software worldwide. It is becoming a

flagship product area for Microsoft, he said.

Peter Neupert, vice president of Microsoft Corp's healthcare group, said Global Care's products would make a "great addition" to Microsoft's portfolio of health-enterprise products as the company looked to power developing and emerging hospital systems around the globe.

Global Care's Hospital 2000 is an electronic-record system. Its integrated document imaging and delivery allows instantaneous scanning, storage and retrieval of both electronically generated and handwritten material.

It serves both front- and back-office operations, including radiology, laboratories, pharmacies, discharges and transfers, registration administration and clinics and wards.

Global Care sold the software to seven hospitals in five Southeast Asian countries: Bumrungrad, Singapore General Hospital, KK Women's and Children's Hospital, Franco Vietnamese Hospital, Changi General Hospital, Assunta Hospital and Asian Hospital and Medical Centre.

Bumrungrad told The Wall Street Journal's Asian edition that the software helped it manage billing and medical records in several languages and cut waiting times to see doctors to an average of 17 minutes. The hospital treats more than 1.2 million patients a year from countries all over the world, it said.

Asina Pornwasin

The Nation


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