Sun Microsystems expands health care IT portfolio for better patient data integration

New Orleans 26 February 2007Sun Microsystems has introduced the Sun B2B-enabled Electronic Master Patient Index (EMPI), as well as two OEM offerings, iPACS and uPACS, Integrated and Utility Picture Archiving and Communication Systems, at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) conference in New Orleans. This launch is part of Sun's broad focus building on the Solaris 10 Operating System (OS) to transform health care, continuing to deliver infrastructure software designed to enable easier data sharing across the entire health care spectrum, for both payment processes and for electronic health records (EHR).

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Demonstrating Sun's ongoing commitment to eHealth, the B2B-enabled EMPI solution, a part of the Sun Java Enterprise System, provides enterprise-class infrastructure software for hospitals, insurers and other health care organisations who are sharing patient data across organisations. The debut of iPACS and uPACS provides an integrated platform that enables PACS OEMs and Systems Integrators to rapidly build and implement competitive, complete eHealth solutions.

"Sharing patient data allows greater efficiency for medical billing and clinical record document sharing processes", stated Joerg Schwarz, director of Healthcare and Life Sciences, Sun Microsystems. "By linking patient data and records across a network of providers and insurers, Sun technology is helping to make it possible for doctors, nurses and other care-givers to have complete patient information at their fingertips to provide the best possible care. Further, helping our PACS vendors to reduce capital costs and improve scalability by enabling a utility pay-per-use model, brings value to our partner community."

As health care becomes a marketplace where patient data and electronic health record data are shared, the need to expose data to external partners, customers or governmental agencies continues to grow. Exposing data and services in order to share data to the outside world requires B2B integration software to manage the communications, security and business processes. Sun's B2B-enabled EMPI means that a primary patient data provider - such as a hospital group - can provide secure access to its EMPI data-store to partners outside their four walls - essentially making the EMPI service available for queries over the Internet. The solution gives large organisations, such as Regional Health Information Organisations (RHIOs) and Integrated Healthcare Delivery Networks (IDNs), the enterprise-class infrastructure to serve as the regional hub for master patient data indexes with high reliability and availability.

Sun is also driving momentum in the health care industry through its OEM programme for picture archiving and communication system (PACS) vendors. With 80 percent of new PACS implementations being outsourced in the United States, the programme creates opportunities for health care informatics organisations to collaborate with Sun in developing solutions for providers, payers, regional and national health care organisations. Sun is redefining the marketplace for OEM health care vendors with its Integrated PACS (iPACS) and Utility PACS (uPACS) solutions, designed as an integrated platform that enables OEMs and System Integrators to rapidly build and implement the most competitive PACS health care systems.

Sun's technology supports the high performance requirements of today's networked medical imaging and eHealth communities. By providing an expanded set of cost-effective, leading-edge, innovative platforms and solutions, Sun is empowering its OEMs and partners to deliver high performance differentiated products to providers and payers, while delivering complete end to end solutions for its end customers.

iPACS are available in different sizes to accommodate small to large hospitals, while uPACS are designed for multi-tenant facilities with a focus on disaster back-up capabilities. Both can be sold as a separate service for users with an iPACS platform or other local PACS systems. The solutions both provide a platform that facilitates linkage and integration with other core applications, including electronic medical records (EMRs), while helping reduce capital costs and improve scalability by enabling a utility "pay-per-use" model. Sun's OEM offerings for PACS vendors include dedicated sales, pricing, supply chain and product support throughout the product lifecycle.

At HIMSS 2007, Sun is showcasing its complete portfolio of health care industry solutions based on Solaris technology. Building on decades of experience working with hospitals, clinics and insurers, Sun is leveraging its leading-edge technologies to create and deploy complete health care infrastructure solutions that help health care organisations achieve secure health information exchange, cost-efficient data management, regulatory compliance and caregiver mobility. These solutions reduce costs and medical errors while improving efficiency and patient-centric care.

In addition to the new EMPI and PACS solutions, Sun will be exhibiting Sun technologies such as the StorageTek 5800, the world's first application-aware programmable storage system based on Solaris 10 and Java technology, demonstrating Sun's commitment to open source and breakthrough storage technology. Sun will also be demonstrating Sun Ray and Sun Secure Global Desktop Software thin client and mobility technologies; and Sun Java technologies including Sun Java Composite Application Platform Suite and Sun Java Identity Management Suite.

With its arsenal of advanced health care technologies, Sun is actively building a robust health care community, including over 2000 health care customers worldwide. Many of these customers convened at Sun's Healthcare Client Summit in New Orleans in advance of the HIMSS Conference. More company news can be found in the VMW February 2007 article Sun Microsystems powers world-leading London Centre of Nanotechnology.


Leslie Versweyveld

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