Microsoft has announced the European launch of its Amalga enterprise unified business intelligence (UBI) product for the health sector. Designed to unify data and reporting in complex health organisations, the new BI product is part of Microsoft’s Amalga enterprise suite of applications. Microsoft says the Amalga database portal product offers an innovative way to capture, consolidate, store, access and quickly present data in meaningful ways for use by clinicians and utives of leading-edge healthcare institutions. The product is specifically targeted at big complex acute providers that have significant existing IT investments they want to preserve. Amalga is said to take advantage of health enterprises’ investments in existing health IT solutions and make it possible for the entire organisation to gain quick access to data and turn that information into critical knowledge that facilitates better decision-making and improved patient outcomes. Previously known as Azyxxi, a product and company bought by Microsoft in 2006, Amalga is described as part of a new software category called ‘Unified Intelligence Systems’. The product was launched at HIMSS in the US in February. According to Microsoft, the Amalga UBI product offers an innovative route to enable hospitals and other complex healthcare organisations to get value from their data cost effectively. Benefits are said to include allowing hospitals to “unlock the power of all their data sitting in isolated clinical, financial and administrative systems.” “The amount of data in hospitals is increasing exponentially. One of healthcare providers’ biggest challenges is that care givers can’t access patient information when and where they need it,” said Graham Harrop, Microsoft Health Solutions Group, Director – Europe and Middle East. “Amalga offers proven solutions that bring together information from across the healthcare enterprise into one easily accessible view,” added Harrop. In the US Amalga is already in use at MedStar Health, a community-based network of eight hospitals and other healthcare services in the Baltimore-Washington, DC, area where it originated, and has benefited from 10 years of ongoing development. Other US early adopters include New York-Presbyterian Hospital, Johns Hopkins Health System, Novant Health, H Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute, St Joseph Health System and the Wisconsin Health Information Exchange.