LAS VEGAS, Sept. 15, 1997 — The Microsoft® Healthcare Users Group (MS-HUG) (Europe) is being launched today to address the needs of European health-care organizations and independent software vendors using Microsoft technologies. The new group will work closely with the existing U.S. organization in areas such as the ActiveX
for Healthcare standard.
Both user groups have the same goals. However, the fact that the European health-care market is very different from that in the United States dictated the formation of a dedicated European user group. European health care is characterized by many heterogeneous local markets, each with differing needs, and there is an almost complete absence of software vendors supplying solutions across Europe. MS-HUG (Europe) will address issues of software connectivity for the health-care industry.
Tony Powell of IBC Group, the organizer of MS-HUG (Europe), said, “MS-HUG has taken a leadership role in fostering and promoting innovative solutions for health-care information systems based on Microsoft technologies. Creating an MS-HUG organization that’s located in the heart of Europe will allow us to better address the needs and interests of European users and vendors, and to continue to provide leadership for global health-care interoperability initiatives.”
Robert Powell, health-care industry manager, Microsoft Europe, said, “The formation of the European group is a clear indicator of Microsoft’s commitment to the European health-care market. We will be working closely with the group and its members to give them assistance in developing innovative solutions and the adoption of common standards.”
A key issue for both groups is to drive the adoption of common technology standards such as ActiveX for Healthcare, which is an open initiative that helps application developers break down connectivity and interoperability problems by using Microsoft component software technology. For purchasers of health-care systems, this results in lower cost and easier deployment of systems in a multivendor environment.
In the United States, MS-HUG has already been very successful, growing from some 500 members in 1995, when it was first launched by Microsoft Chairman and CEO Bill Gates, to an estimated 2,000 in 1997. A similar rate of growth is expected for the European group.
The Microsoft Healthcare Users Group encourages interaction among its members on the direction and application of new computing solutions in the health-care arena. The group seeks to improve communication between the various areas of health-care computing by breaking through the boundaries of medicine, technology, payors, academia and industry. MS-HUG is an independent, not-for-profit membership organization.
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