February 26, 2007 7:34 AM PST

Microsoft to acquire search start-up Medstory

Microsoft announced Monday that it has agreed to acquire Medstory, a search technology company that focuses on health-related information.

Medstory, which is based in Foster City, Calif., operates a search engine--currently in beta--that is geared toward the needs of consumers and health professionals who are looking for information on medical topics. Search results are divided into categories of information relevant to the query: for example, results can be narrowed into clinical studies, procedures, personal health information, conditions and substances.

Financial terms of the Medstory acquisition were not disclosed, but the start-up and its employees will become part of Microsoft's Health Solutions Group. Microsoft has touted health care as one field that has strong potential for high-tech enhancement.

Indeed, Medstory is not the only acquisition that Microsoft has made in the health care sector over the past year: in July, it purchased patient database service Azyxxi and formed an alliance with hospital group MedStar Health to bring new technology into MedStar's hospitals.

But there may be more to Microsoft's acquisition of Medstory than an interest in bolstering its health care offerings. Medstory's Web site hints that health is only the first topic for which it plans to implement its "intelligent search" technology and that other "complex fields" of inquiry may be on the way.

Search is one of a number of areas where Microsoft is going head-to-head with Google, which has dominated the field both in terms of Internet search itself and of search-related advertising.

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4 comments

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MS managing Healthcare records
That's a scary idea, cell phones running CE Windows is as well, I have the Motorola Q, and it always locks up, sometimes when I reply to a text message, my CAPS turn on without asking and I have to reboot the damn phone to get it to work.

Sometimes, the speaker phone turns on by it's self and I can't even get it to shut down and switch to Normal, even if I go into settings and switch it.

MS produces a whole bunch of sh!@#.
Posted by RompStar_420 (772 comments )
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Why Medstory?
It's interesting that MS should acquire Medstory...wonder if they checked out Healia Inc or some of the other vertical health search engines. It seems the technology is just as strong, if not stronger.
Posted by aq3916 (1 comment )
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who knows
Maybe the others didn't want to sell out, maybe they think they will be valued much more than what MS is willing to pay out now.

Having any medicals records stored and managed by MS is a scary thought, I make sure that when I have my web hosted or email handles I stay on a LAMP system (LAMP = Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP) for those who are not familiar with that term, not MS Exchange or ISS.

Also I would stear clear of RedHat and Novel Linux or SUSE, MS is medling there too much with Novel.

Get a real copy of Linux: slackware.org
Posted by RompStar_420 (772 comments )
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Real scary, MS in healthcare when MS is not HIPAA compliant
HIPAA states that health care providers need to use best practices re: data security. Given these facts;

IE is no match when it comes to security compared to other browsers. Others are not perfect, but have fewer issues, and deal with the ones they have quickly. MS sometimes takes months to patch security problems.

MS Office has thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of macro viruses and other security issues. All other office products combined have one known macro virus. One, that's all.

The above is only two examples of how MS compares to non-MS products. Given these facts it is in my opinion that health care providers that use IE or MS Office instead of other products are not following HIPAA recommendations. MS products are not HIPAA complaint, and MS could do society a favor and stay out of health care and other critical systems. In my opinion it should be a government regulated issue that health care IT systems do not use Microsoft products.
Posted by Microsoft_Facts (109 comments )
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