REDMOND, Wash., May 20, 1999 — Microsoft Corp. today announced it is investing $250 million in WebMD Inc., creating a comprehensive relationship that will help bring the power of technology and information to consumers and the health-care industry. Microsoft is joined by other leading Internet and health-care companies that are making an additional combined equity investment of $150 million in WebMD. As part of the collaboration between Microsoft and WebMD, Microsoft will also provide WebMD with advertising and e-commerce opportunities, professional subscriptions and co-marketing campaigns worth approximately $300 million over the next five years.
In addition, it was announced today that Healtheon and WebMD are merging to create a leading online health-care firm. Healtheon-WebMD brings together existing strategic relationships with more than 50 companies in the technology and health-care industries. Microsoft’s investment in WebMD demonstrates the collaborative nature of this move to build health-care content, community, services and technologies to benefit consumers and the health-care industry. Microsoft’s position as a supporter of the alliance is part of the company’s commitment to adding its leading technologies and distribution capabilities to the health-care expertise of Healtheon and WebMD.
Jeff Arnold, chief executive officer of Healtheon-WebMD, said,
“We are extremely pleased to be working with Microsoft to provide quality information and services across the spectrum of the health-care industry. Our companies share the goal of improving quality and efficiency in the delivery of care, and the resources and commitment of a global technology leader like Microsoft is a tremendous step forward in capturing the opportunity to support customers worldwide.”
“Microsoft is excited to be part of this collaborative model that will bring the benefits of Internet technology and enable e-commerce for the health-care industry,”
said Charles Stevens, vice president of the Application Developers Customer Unit for Microsoft.
“Microsoft® Windows NT® Server, the BackOffice® platform and the Microsoft BizTalk TM Framework, in combination with health-care software vendors and Healtheon-WebMD, will streamline the delivery of both care and critical health information to physicians and consumers by enhancing connectivity to a complex, fragmented industry. We see the Internet playing a very important role in accelerating collaboration, communication and overall customer service in the health-care field.”
MSN Health: High-Quality, In-Depth Health and Medical Programming
Further demonstrating its support for the WebMD strategy and offerings, Microsoft will introduce MSN TM Health ( http://health.MSN.com/ ), a new, comprehensive source of health-care information and services on the MSN network of Internet services. Through a five-year distribution agreement, Healtheon-WebMD will pay Microsoft $162 million to become the premier health-care content provider for MSN, the Microsoft WebTV Network TM service and MSNBC.
“Through our relationship with Healtheon-WebMD we can empower consumers with a range of information and services from health-care industry leaders,”
said Laura Jennings, vice president of Worldwide Strategic Planning for Microsoft.
“MSN Health provides consumers with quality information and tools to help them make informed decisions about important health-care issues. Our relationship with Healtheon-WebMD is a natural extension of Microsoft’s mission to provide customers with the most complete set of services and technologies on the Web.”
The third most-frequently referenced topic on the Internet today, health care is a subject of critical importance to consumers. MSN Health will provide breaking medical information, Web-based support and communities, personalized health information, and expert advice – all designed to meet the needs of the more than 22 million consumers who turn to the Web for health-care-related information (Cyber Dialogue Inc., second quarter 1998).
The site will feature a wellness center with sections on alternative health, diet, fitness, nutrition and pregnancy; weekly editions of the Healthy Living series of
; 30 online health communities; breaking health-care news; disease management topics; answers to frequently asked medical questions; and a directory of WebMD physicians.
The Microsoft and Healtheon-WebMD relationship can span the globe, with opportunities to deliver localized consumer health services to MSN users worldwide. Customized international versions of MSN Health may be available as early as next year, tailored to the unique languages and health interests in individual countries.
Industry Leaders Support Healtheon-WebMD
Companies supporting the Healtheon-WebMD strategy include the following industry leaders: Covad, Excite Inc., Intel Corp., Microsoft, SoftBank Corp., and Superior Consultant Holdings Corp. This support comes at a time when the power of technology and the Internet are widely accepted as critical tools that will address the changing needs of the health-care industry and consumers. The collaborative effort will deliver the most comprehensive health-care resources to consumers and streamline health-care processes and systems to advance the industry.
Microsoft currently works with hundreds of companies in the health-care industry to provide technologies and services for hospitals, physicians, managed care organizations and technology integrators. This presence will enable vendors that build health-care solutions to extend the reach of their line-of-business applications by providing them with a compelling Internet portal that provides content, community and services for consumers and health-care professionals.
Microsoft and Healtheon-WebMD will continue to pursue alliances with industry companies and vendors to enhance application interoperability based on the BizTalk Framework and ActiveX® for Healthcare standard, which will help reduce health-care system inefficiencies, streamline the delivery of care and reduce costs.
Atlanta-based WebMD, which is privately held and was founded in 1998, offers a comprehensive suite of Internet-based services and information for physicians as well as health-care information services and online communities for consumers. WebMD can be reached through its Web site at http://www.webmd.com .
Healtheon, founded in 1996 and based in Santa Clara, Calif., is a pioneer in providing Internet-based, business-to-business and consumer-to-business electronic commerce services that link doctors and consumers with health-care institutions, enabling them to efficiently and conveniently manage their business and personal health-care needs. Healtheon’s services simplify the business and clinical processes of health care, provide more timely access to information, provide faster and more convenient service and lead to higher quality, more affordable care. Healtheon can be reached through its Web site at http://www.healtheon.com .
About MSN and Microsoft
MSN is the network of Internet services from Microsoft that helps people better organize the Web around what’s important to them. The network of MSN services, located on the Web at MSN.com ( http://MSN.com/ ), helps people easily stay in touch with friends and colleagues, make smart and secure purchasing decisions, and get more done. MSN offers award-winning
e-mail functionality; personal communications services; customizable access to news; popular sites for travel, investing, automotive services, shopping and more; an online community; a Web search engine and directories; and top-rated Internet access.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.
The information contained in this press release relates to prerelease product that may be substantially modified before its first commercial release. Accordingly, the information may not accurately describe or reflect the product when first commercially released. The press release is provided for informational purposes only, and Microsoft makes no warranties, express or implied, with respect to the press release or the information contained in it.
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