Microsoft to Buy Sentillion, Looks to Strengthen Efforts in Electronic Medical Records

Let the healthcare-IT acquisitions begin. Microsoft announced today it plans to buy Sentillion, a healthcare software company based in Andover, MA. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The acquisition is expected to close early next year.

Microsoft says it plans to incorporate Sentillion’s technology into the Microsoft Amalga Unified Intelligence System that’s supposed to help hospitals synchronize all of the 80 different proprietary IT programs they have on average, and get them to talk to each other. Meanwhile, Sentillion will keep selling its products to new and existing customers, and will continue to operate out of its headquarters in Massachusetts. The two companies have worked together since at least this summer, when Sentillion announced a software licensing agreement with Amalga UIS, which is used by some 115 hospitals in U.S. health organizations, including Johns Hopkins Health System and Seattle Children’s Hospital.

Sentillion was founded in 1998 and specializes in identity and access management technology for keeping electronic patient records secure and private. The company says its software is used by more than 1,000 hospitals and 500,000 caregivers across North America and Europe. Sentillion raised about $30 million in total venture funding; the last round was in 2001. Its investors include Newbury Ventures, Polaris Venture Partners, Split Rock Partners, Merrill Lynch Ventures, Wall Street Technology Partners, Intersouth Partners, and First Consulting Group.

Peter Neupert, the corporate vice president of Microsoft Health Solution Group, seems pretty jazzed by the deal. “Microsoft and Sentillion share a vision of a connected health system in which the free and rapid flow of information, coupled with streamlined access to a hospital’s myriad healthcare applications, empowers doctors and nurses to perform their roles with greater insight, speed and effectiveness,” Neupert said in a statement. He added that the two companies’ products and strategies are “a natural fit.”

It will be interesting to see how the integration of the companies’ products goes, and whether they will both get more widely used as the competition for efficient health-IT systems heats up. Robert Seliger, the CEO of Sentillion, seems to think so. He said in a statement, “With its commitment to improving health and the global resources it brings to bear, Microsoft is the perfect partner to expand our efforts worldwide.”

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