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Less than a month after it launched a free online service to let consumers access their own medical records online, Microsoft is going deeper into offering software for health care. The company announced Monday that it is acquiring the software used to run the largest private hospital in Southeast Asia.

Microsoft announced the acquisition of “software, intellectual property and other assets” from Global Care Solutions (GCS), a privately held company based in Bangkok, Thailand, according to a company statement.

The move is just the latest in a series of acquisitions and announcements signaling Microsoft’s intent to be a major player in the health care solutions marketplace – and is yet another step toward fulfilling the company’s vision of integrating all of a patient’s records for easy access wherever and whenever they are needed.

GCS, whose products run exclusively on Microsoft infrastructure, including Windows Server 2003 and SQL Server 2005, provides an integrated hospital information system, complete with multilingual capabilities.

“We make everything you need to run a hospital in a single integrated solution,” GCS CEO Patrick Downing said in a videotaped statement. “We [provide] your traditional hospital information and management systems, plus we make all the clinical and back-office systems and everything else you need,” he added.

GCS developed 50 clinical and back-office application modules designed and optimized to run all hospital clinical and administrative operations. The development was done in conjunction with Bumrungrad hospital in Bangkok, which treats more than 1.2 million patients from 190 countries each year, according to the companies. The software is in use at five other hospitals in Southeast Asia, including Singapore.

Microsoft plans a software offering based on the GCS technology, the company’s statement said. The new offering will complement Microsoft’s Azyxxi offering, a data-integration package for hospitals with legacy systems that it acquired in July 2006.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

In early October, Microsoft announced HealthVault, a free online storage and retrieval service “in the cloud” for consumers’ medical and health records, as well as HealthVault Search, a health information search engine that is integrated with Live Search.

GCS employees will be integrated into Microsoft’s Health Solutions Group, headed by corporate Vice President Peter Neupert.

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