Siemens Medical Solutions Health Services (SMS) has entered into a strategic alliance with Microsoft Corp., under which the two companies will collaborate to optimise Siemens health information applications on the Microsoft .NET Enterprise technology platform.

Siemens and Microsoft will also work together building best practices for hosting applications in an Application Service Provider (ASP) model.

The two companies first formed a healthcare development alliance in 1995. The agreement was renewed in 1998 and expanded to include a joint development lab at Microsoft’s corporate campus.

According to Dr. Erich R. Reinhardt, president and CEO of Siemens Medical Solutions, "Microsoft and Siemens have a shared vision of delivering cost-effective and innovative solutions to the health industry." He pointed to SMS’s recent announcement of Soarian, a workflow-engineered health information solution, as evidence of that shared vision.

"We are pleased to continue our relationship with Siemens and build upon our six-year alliance," said Jeff Raikes, group vice president of the Business Productivity Group at Microsoft.

He added that Microsoft would help Siemens provide the healthcare industry with more solutions that utilise Microsoft .NET technologies to improve healthcare delivery worldwide.

The .NET platform is Miscrosoft’s strategic vision for the next generation of Web-enabled applications, using XML software that connects information, devices and people in a unified way.

SMS is already the premier Application Service Provider (ASP) in the US healthcare market. The company operates health applications for over 1,000 health providers with connections to over 500,000 customer workstations, and processes 100 million transactions each day.