IBM to finance healthcare firms for digitizing medical records

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Bangalore: IBM in its aim to extend its benefits from the U.S. health-care stimulus bill, is providing financing to help at least four companies put their medical records into digital format, reports Bloomberg. The firm has signed financing agreements with Siemens Healthcare, a developer of electronic medical records, and three other health-care businesses whose clients are converting data into digital form, Armonk, New York-based IBM said in an e-mail to Bloomberg. Doctors and hospitals in the U.S. can win federal stimulus funds if they begin keeping medical records electronically. By financing the projects, IBM earns interest on the loans and gains potential clients for its hardware, software and services, said Christine Chang, a New York-based Analyst for technology- research firm Ovum. According to Massachusetts based research group IDC, the government's plan to maintain such records electronically will create $20.4 billion in technology spending. The firm also signed financing agreements with Lavender and Wyatt Systems, Healthcare Management Systems and SCC Soft Computer. IBM gets 2.5 percent of its total revenue, which topped $100 billion last year, from financing.