Smartronix Buys Cogon to Aid Military Health Care

Government IT vendor Smartronix will use its purchase of health care IT and consulting company Cogon Systems to provide health information exchange for patients in the military.

Government IT contractor Smartronix has purchased health care IT and consulting company Cogon Systems, a move that will allow clients in federal agencies and the military to share and store patient information in Cogon's HIE, or health information exchange, platform.

Current Cogon CEO Dr. Huy Nguyen will remain as head of the organization under Smartronix's ownership.

Smartronix, based in Hollywood, Md., makes cyber-security, health care IT and enterprise software products for the Defense and Homeland Security departments as well as the Transportation Security Administration.

The company's existing health care IT offerings include software for medical systems and data warehousing.

"The addition of Cogon, its visionary leadership and its intellectual property [is] a great complement to Smartronix's growing health information technology business," Smartronix CEO John Parris said in a statement. "We are confident that our network operations, enterprise software solutions and cyber-security core competencies will assist in leveraging and augmenting Cogon Systems' Virtual Health Network platform."

The Cogon VHN is an SOA (service-oriented architecture) that provides enterprises with business logic flexibility, network scalability, data interoperability and application extensibility, according to Cogon's Website.

Cogon said the VHN allows for the storing and sharing of electronic medical records between the Department of Defense and commercial hospitals. The VHN includes information on patient demographics, medication, test results, allergies and physician diagnoses.

The federal government mandates that health care providers use HIEs to qualify for stimulus funds, explained Judy Hanover, research manager for IDC Health Insights. "Health information exchange is one of several technologies that are required for provider organizations to demonstrate meaningful use and become eligible for federal incentives under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act ... of 2009, and is currently a focus of investment for provider organizations," she told eWEEK.

Companies will continue to adopt HIEs through 2014 to maximize ARRA incentives and to avoid incurring penalties by 2015, Hanover noted.

HIEs were a top priority for 47 percent of IT professionals surveyed recently by Embarcadero Technologies, an application development and database management company. Embarcadero announced the results July 19.

Meanwhile, Verizon Business unveiled an HIE in the cloud on July 14 to provide a standard format for sharing health information. Verizon's Health Information Exchange runs on the Oracle Healthcare Transaction Base platform.

Smartronix announced its purchase of Cogon on Aug. 11.