Salesforce takes on
healthcare with new apps, alliances
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[June 26, 2014]
By Christina Farr
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) -
Salesforce Inc, one of the first cloud-computing
companies, is pushing into healthcare with new software
and services aimed at the largest hospitals.
Salesforce has announced a strategic alliance with Amsterdam-based
medical technology company Philips, which it envisions as the first
of many partnerships. These companies will announce two new medical
applications later in the summer, called Philips eCareCoordinator
and Philips eCare Companion.
The software is designed to improve health and cut costs. The apps
are intended to be used by physicians to monitor chronically ill
patients between doctor visits.
Salesforce said the goal is to make it easier for hospitals to
collect and analyze data from medical devices, which patients with
chronic conditions often use at home.
"In the United States, care providers are facing increasing demands
and decreasing reimbursement," said Michael Peachey, a senior
director of solutions and product marketing at Salesforce.
"We want to improve efficiency for physicians by transmitting
patient data in real time."
Peachey said the Salesforce software meets security and privacy
rules under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act,
known as HIPAA.
In the short term, Peachey said Salesforce intends to develop
additional apps with other partners to help doctors and nurses
monitor patients from the comfort of their homes.
"It's an open platform," he said.
Salesforce is a pioneer in subscription fee-based cloud software,
often referred to as software-as-a-service, known as SaaS. In recent
years, SaaS has increasingly replaced traditional on-premise and
licensed software at corporations because the model is easier to
adopt, eliminating the need for major investments in servers or
staff training. Paying on a monthly basis is also more palatable to
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Over the past year or so, Salesforce and other cloud pioneers such
as Workday have faced greater competition from startups and major
players like Microsoft or Oracle, and are seeking new revenue
In April, Salesforce unveiled a new strategy to focus its sales and
marketing efforts on specific industries, including healthcare. The
company tapped Vivek Kundra, the former chief information officer of
the United States, to lead that effort.
Salesforce Chief Executive Officer Mark Benioff will release more
details about the Philips alliance in a live webcast on Thursday.
(Reporting by Christina Farr; Editing by Jan Paschal)
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