Pfizer, IBM, Microsoft Launch Venture Providing Software, Handheld Computer to Small Physician Practices
Pfizer, IBM and Microsoft this week announced the launch of an independent, privately held joint venture, called Amicore, to provide office-based physicians with software and services for administrative, clinical and financial functions. The venture, which the companies first announced in March, will market software and wireless handheld computers primarily to small practices of between one and 10 physicians. Small practices account for approximately 70% of office-based medical practices, according to James Fitzsimmons, Amicore's new president and chief executive. Fitzsimmons said, "Historically, these doctors have been underserved by larger [eHealth] players." A significant proportion of the company's initial product line will come from its recent acquisition of PenChart, a Connecticut-based eHealth firm offering products that allow physicians to perform functions such as reviewing patient records and test results, ordering prescriptions and creating clinical documentation at the point of care. Amicore also is testing billing and reimbursement software, which company executives expect to release by the first quarter of 2002. Other products are under development but have yet to reach the testing stage. Fitzsimmons did not say how long he expects the company will need to reach profitability (Dow Jones News Service, 10/10).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.