IBM has announced the signing of a definitive agreement to acquire Initiate Systems, a maker of data integrity software for information sharing among health care and government organizations.
IBM has announced the signing of a definitive agreement to
acquire Initiate Systems, a maker of data integrity software for
information sharing among health care and government
Chicago-based Initiate marks IBM's 30th acquisition aimed at beefing
up Big Blue's information management and analytics capabilities. Since
2005, IBM has invested $10 billion in 14 other strategic acquisitions
to build its business analytics portfolio. IBM did not disclose the
financial aspects of the acquisition.
In a press release about the acquisition, IBM said Initiate's
software helps health-care clients work more intelligently and
efficiently with timely access to patient and clinical data. It also
enables governments to share information across multiple agencies to
better serve citizens.
Health-care organizations and governments around the world today are
embarking on new initiatives to improve health care and citizen safety.
In health care, this means finding ways to simultaneously improve
health outcomes and efficiency of care. In government, this means
providing better services to citizens in a more cost-effective manner
by combining information from multiple agencies such as child welfare
and veterans' programs.
In a news conference regarding the Initiate acquisition. Arvind
Krishna, general manager of IBM's Information Management business, said
the acquisition of Initiate marks a "significant expansion" of IBM's
ability to manage information from many sources.
"In health care the focus is on improving patient care through
information sharing," Krishna said. "In government the focus is on
providing citizens with services in a more timely and efficient manner."
Krishna said Initiate's software has analyzed billions of individual
records for hundreds of clients across numerous industries including
health care and government. For example, its software is used by
CVS/Caremark, Blue Cross Blue Shield, United Healthcare Services and
the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Indeed, Initiate's software is
currently in use at more than 2,400 health-care sites, more than 40
health information exchanges and multiple government health systems
around the world. It also serves government agencies large and small
around the world.
Moreover, with more than $36 billion in government stimulus funds
available to spur adoption of electronic health records and regional
health information networks, this issue is top of mind for healthcare
providers in both the public and private sectors, Krishna said.
Similarly, government agencies of all sizes are planning initiatives
aimed at improving the services they deliver to citizens while
holding the line on costs.
During the news conference, Bill Conroy, president and CEO of
Initiate, said, "What's occurring in the U.S. about electronic health
records is occurring globally. We reached an inflection point where to
keep up with demand we had to do something with scale." And to get that
scale very quickly, Initiate agreed to be acquired by IBM, he said.
Krishna said health care and life sciences are a $4 billion business
for IBM, which has worked on more than 3,000 health-care transformation
initiatives ranging from small hospitals to national health-care
projects. In addition, the company has more than 4,000 employees
dedicated to health care, including more than 60 medical doctors, 350
other health care professionals and a network of more than 1,800
business partners, he said. IBM has teams of life sciences researchers
at eight research labs and has received more than 600 patents in life
sciences, health care and medical devices. These researchers, doctors
and experienced professionals work with leading enterprises and
government agencies from across the health-care industry.
Meanwhile, an example of Initiate's use in the health-care industry
is Sutter Health. Sutter Health, a not-for-profit network of doctors
and hospitals serving more than 100 communities in Northern California,
is using Initiate's technology to link its entire health network with
accuracy and flexibility to enhance patient safety, customer
satisfaction and the efficiency of business operations.
In government, the North Dakota Department of Human Services (DHS)
is an Initiate software user. North Dakota's DHS information on
citizens used to be dispersed across numerous data silos. However, with
Initiate onboard, DHS is now using technology to access a single view
of all its clients, allowing the agency to share information across its
many programs to increase citizen enrollment, speed the process of
determining eligibility and more accurately measure program
"Our clients will be the ones who benefit most from this
acquisition," Conroy said in a statement. "They will continue to get
the software and expertise they depend on, plus the incalculable
advantage they will gain through IBM's global reach and its
capabilities in enterprise software, hardware and services."
Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.