Microsoft + GE = New Healthcare Venture, Caradigm

On more than one occasion I’ve argued that while the success of Windows 8 and tablets is very important to Microsoft, it will certainly not make it or break it. Why? Because over the last few years the company has done a phenomenal job of expanding its hold into a variety of different ventures such as Microsoft’s Xbox platform, the success of Bing Search, and the beginnings of possible success with Windows Phone.

Now Microsoft has struck out even further into the medical technology field by joining hands with General Electronics to form a 50-50 join venture under the name “Caradigm”. The new venture will work to bring future upcoming technology products that are geared towards the medical and health industry.

It’s first product offerings will be shown of at the HIMSS12, a huge healthcare IT trade show. According to Microsoft, the company is currently awaiting approval by regulators and will officially launch sometime in the first half of this year.

While it seems that this new company is more geared towards healthcare software solutions, I have to wonder if Windows v.Next Embedded technology won’t eventually be part of Caradigm’s strategy.

Back in November I talked about how Windows v.Next is aimed to bring ‘intelligent systems’ to the next level. One of the biggest potentials for intelligent systems is in fact in the healthcare industry. Such medical products like scales and blood-pressure testing that report to an automatic tablet-based medical chart is just one of the ideas that comes to mind.

So could Caradigm’s overall strategy include these smart-systems while leveraging GE technology as well? At least at the moment, the company’s focus will be on the development and marketing of aspects of an interoperable open platform to enable improved health management service, or so says Microsoft. I certainly think this could eventually include smart-applications that make use of intelligent systems running on MS embedded technology.

Either way, this is just another way that Microsoft is branching out and thinking outside of the box to move technology in different directions. I might sound a bit like an MS ‘fanboy’, the truth is that I used to be one of the biggest MS-haters around. I was an avid Mac fan and cursed the very name of folks like Bill Gates.

In recent times though, I’ve really liked the direction that MS seems to be heading. I am still a fan of other platforms (like OSX), but I find myself more and more interested in what MS is doing then I did in the past.

So what do you think of the new venture, Caradigm? (Besides noting it has a pretty awful name, IMO) Do you think it’s possible that smart systems will eventually be a big part of the companies strategy? Share your thoughts below.

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