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Sequoia and Microsoft To Introduce XML Server For Health Care

Sequoia Software in conjunction with Microsoft will introduce an Extensible Mark-up Language (XML) transaction server for health care.

Being introduced at the Health Information Management Systems Society (HIMSS) conference in Orlando on February 25, it will be the first use of XML in a major application for the health care industry.

Anil Sethi, Sequoia's chief technology officer, commented: "This is not just an XML application. It works behind virtually all applications so that very different, widely distributed systems can actually work together to do business. In health care that means often vital patient records can be at a doctor's fingertips in seconds. And that means lives saved and lower costs."

Sequoia plans to demonstrate the system by linking to applications of several different hardware and software manufacturers on the floor of the show. The purpose of this, says the vendor, is to show that the transaction server is ready for commercial use. It is being embedded into other products by original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), and Microsoft is collaborating in next week's launch.

John Carpenter, Microsoft's World Wide Health Industry Manager, said: "This is an important development that will allow people in different health care roles--doctors, pharmacists, vendors, buyers, and administrators--to communicate."

XML is a meta language that allows more programming tags than HTML and describes information more precisely. At the instigation of the U.S. Commerce Department, Sequoia is currently developing a national Master Patient Index (MPI) based on the XML standard.