I just came across a great post by Matthew Holt at The Healthcare Blog on the GE IDX acquisition:
FDA-regulated imaging device guys (GE, Siemens, Philips, Toshiba) about
how this IT stuff is playing out. They know that their hospital clients
are slowly integrating the IT and Med Tech side of their houses, and
they face the fear that if they can't supply both ends of the chain,
then they may lose business on their more profitable med tech products
to a rival (i.e. Siemens) that can cut the customer a deal on the other
end. But there is not really a good HIT candidate to buy, so maybe a
mere $1.4bn on a not-so-good one is enough for now.
What's really going on indeed. As Matt points out in his post, single
vendor solutions cobbled together from numerous acquisitions tend to
really deliver only one benefit, one number to call when you've got a
problem. When all your eggs are in one basket, trying to get leverage
with that one vendor can be difficult. Okay, I admit that I'm a "best
of breed" guy - since the 1980s when I worked for Trinity Computing
Systems. As I noted in an earlier post,
with the convergence of IT and medical devices at one end, and EMRs and
RHIOs at the other, the potential for a single vendor solution that's
more than lipstick on a pig is slim to none. Which raises more
interesting questions for the vendors that Matt mentions that it does
for their smaller competitors.
Oh, and Cerner - I wouldn't be surprised if they bought a medical device vendor. I can easily think of a few interesting candidates.