Microsoft Acquires Medstory

Posted on February 27, 2007

MedstoryThe New York Times reports that Microsoft has acquired Medstory, a medical search provider. The Times says there has been increasing investment in online health properties lately.
The acquisition follows Microsoft's purchase last year of Azyxxi, a clinical health care software system that retrieves and quickly displays patient information from many sources, including scanned documents, X-rays, M.R.I. scans and ultrasound images.

The Microsoft move comes at a time of increased investment in online health ventures, rising traffic at consumer health sites on the Web and profits at the most popular sites. Last month, a venture firm headed by Stephen M. Case, the former chief executive of America Online, introduced an ambitious new consumer health site,

WebMD, the leading health-related site, last week reported strong quarterly profit of $8.9 million on revenue of $80.6 million, surpassing Wall Street�s expectations. The stock price of WebMD � an Internet pioneer in health information that struggled for years � has surged in the last year.

In health-related search, Healthline Networks, a start-up in San Francisco, reports rising traffic on its Web site and a growing string of deals to provide the search engine for sites of other companies, including Merck and PacifiCare. At Google, Adam Bosworth, a vice president for engineering, is leading the effort to develop a health-information offering.

Peter Neupert, vice president for health strategy at Microsoft, told the Times that the long-term goal is to "link personal information like age, sex, drug regimens, family history and even genetic markers to search." That sounds great as long as the serious privacy issues it would raise for consumers can be put at ease.

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