The Optum technology unit of UnitedHealth Group, which includes the former Ingenix, has launched the beta version of a cloud-based platform designed to facilitate health information exchange and improved collaboration of care.

The yet-to-be-named platform is scheduled for a production release in the third quarter of 2012. Partners and the technologies they bring include Cisco Systems for unified communications such as teleconsultations and networking/security technologies; EMC for Java language and virtual machines; IBM for business intelligence and back-end data processing, among other services; Hewlett-Packard for servers and data analytics; MyHealthDirect for personal health records; HealthLoops for e-mail exchange between clinicians and patients; and CareCore for eligibility and benefits determination transactions. Optum will work with other willing vendors on developing services via the platform, including competitors, says Ted Hoy, senior vice president of cloud business platforms.

Developer toolkits on the platform include modules for HIPAA compliance, collaboration and security best practices; and a CIO toolkit to support development of internal and external applications, templates for creating master patient indexes, and other resources that support population health management.

The platform also will have a marketplace for entrepreneurs, including willing competitors, to market and deliver their solutions.

One of the first applications on the new platform will be the vendor’s new Optum Care Suite, which includes a range of patient and population management applications. It will feature data analytics to support measuring quality, identifying gaps in care and conducting predictive modeling, among other functions.

Optum will demonstrate the platform and Care Suite applications during HIMSS12 in Las Vegas.

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