Microsoft Announces Planned Acquisition of Medstory, Inc.
NEW ORLEANS — Microsoft Corp. today announced that it has agreed to acquire Medstory Inc., a privately held company based in Foster City, Calif., that develops intelligent Web search technology specifically for health information. The acquisition represents a strategic move for Microsoft in the consumer health search arena and signals a long-term commitment toward the development of a broader consumer health strategy. Medstory employees will join the Health Solutions Group, a recently formed division at Microsoft that will manage product development and delivery. Financial terms were not disclosed, as part of the agreement between the organizations.
“At Microsoft, we are focused on enabling people to make the best decisions,” said Peter Neupert, corporate vice president for health strategy and leader of the Health Solutions Group. “We were impressed with the ability of Medstory’s unique technology to organize and surface the most relevant online health content, which empowers consumers who are trying to find the right information about an important life event.”
According to an October 2006 study* by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, 8 million people in the United States go online for health information every day, and 53 percent of health-seekers said a recent search had an impact on how they take care of themselves or someone else. Yet 22 percent of respondents said they felt frustrated by a lack of information or an inability to find what they were looking for.
Unlike results from most search engines, Medstory’s results are based on intuitive search technology, which provides prequalified information to consumers and health professionals conducting health-related research. This unique approach provides users with intelligent guides to help refine and better target their searches. Users receive organized content that is more relevant to their search criteria and that enables better health-related decisions.
“Instead of trying to force people to think in terms of the way a computer searches, we’re enabling computers to more intuitively conduct searches in the way that people think,” said Dr. Alain Rappaport, M.D., Ph.D., CEO and founder of Medstory. When the acquisition closes, Rappaport will assume the role of general manager of health search in the Health Solutions Group. “With Microsoft’s global reach and experience, I look forward to this soon becoming a standard for online searches in health and medicine.”
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