Microsoft Amalga (formerly known as Azyxxi) is a unified health enterprise platform designed to retrieve and display patient information from many sources, including scanned documents, electrocardiograms, X-rays, MRI scans and other medical imaging procedures, lab results, dictated reports of surgery, as well as patient demographics and contact information. It was developed by doctors and researchers at the Washington Hospital Center emergency department in 1996, and in 2006 it was acquired by the Microsoft Health Solutions Group, as part of a plan to enter the fast-growing market for health care information technology. It has since been adopted at a number of leading hospitals and health systems across the country including Johns Hopkins Hospital, St Joseph Health System, New York Presbyterian Hospital, Georgetown University Hospital and five other hospitals in the MedStar Health group, a nonprofit network in the Baltimore-Washington, D.C. area. [1]

Amalga can be used to tie together many unrelated medical systems using a wide variety of data types in order to provide an immediate, updated composite portrait of the patient’s healthcare history. [2] All of Amalga’s components are integrated using middleware software that allows the creation of standard approaches and tools to interface with the many software and hardware systems found in hospitals. [3] A physician using Amalga can obtain within seconds a patient's past and present hospital records, medication and allergy lists, lab studies, and views of relevant X-rays, CT Scans, and other clips and images, all organized into one customized format to highlight the most critical information for that user. In clinical use since 1996, Amalga has the ability to manage more than 40 terabytes of data and provide real-time access to more than 12,000 data elements associated with a given patient.

The system was first implemented by the Washington Hospital Center emergency department to reduce average waiting times. Since then it has also been used by the District of Columbia Department of Health for management of such mass-casualty incidents as a bioterrorism attack and in a variety of other settings in Arizona, Maryland, and Virginia. [4] The Cleveland Clinic recently installed the system in a pilot project as an imaging and data integration system. [5] Besides clinical data, Amalga is also designed to collect financial and operational data for hospital administrators.

Amalga currently runs on Microsoft Windows Server operating system and uses SQL Server 2005 as the data store. [6]

At the time of acquisition, Microsoft hired Dr. Craig F. Feied, principal designer of the software, and 40 members of the development team at Washington Hospital Center. Dr. Mark Smith, who helped design the system, remained at Washington Hospital Center as director of the emergency department.[7] Since then the Amalga team has grown to include 115 members.


See also

  • Electronic medical record
  • Electronic health record
  • Health informatics

External links