IBM Announces $400 Million Partnership With University of Pittsburgh To Develop Health Care Technology
IBM and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center on Wednesday announced an eight-year, $402 million partnership to develop computer-based health care technology, the AP/Long Island Newsday reports (Simon, AP/Long Island Newsday, 4/28). Under terms of the agreement, UPMC, which operates 19 hospitals, will buy $352 million worth of computer hardware, software and services from IBM (Snowbeck, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 4/28).
One aim of the project is to reduce the number of computer servers used at UPMC from 786 to 305 and the number of operating systems from nine to four (AP/Long Island Newsday, 4/28). In addition, the agreement calls for IBM and UPMC together to spend at least $50 million over the next eight years to develop information technology projects.
UPMC President Jeffrey Romoff said biosecurity projects that use technology and systems to help hospitals respond to large-scale bioterrorist attacks and epidemics will be one focus of the initiative. The joint fund also could fund projects intended to increase efficiency in patient care, such as radio-frequency identification tags for use on patients, personnel and equipment. Officials said that the new computer infrastructure will be a "model" for other hospitals interested in building electronic health records systems and could provide "commercial opportunities" for both IBM and UPMC, the Post-Gazette reports.
IBM on Tuesday announced the acquisition of Healthlink, a Houston-based consulting firm that assists hospitals and clinics convert to EHRs (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 4/28).
IBM officials on Monday said that the company is developing a test system to help identify the best standards for sharing electronic medical information among health care providers, insurance companies and patients (California Healthline, 4/26).