HP Sees Opportunity In Stimulus Funding For Health Care

With the government's cash injection, Brian Brown, HP's sales development manager for Imaging and Printing Group (IPG) Specialty Channels, said that the company is expanding its health care vertical technology. As part of that effort, HP also has launched a new channel program to help its resellers grab a slice of the pie, Brown said at this week's AIIM conference.

HP created a new business document management program in just 60 days for the health care segment that will use its HP ScanJet 7000 as well as other HP scanners. The hardware will be integrated with Aquarius Imaging's TouchChart software.

The product will be available through distributors however, HP is still negotiating with different outfits.

"We're also approaching more traditional VARs who haven't made the jump into document management solutions yet," Brown said.

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Aside from partnering with Aquarius, HP is sitting on a gold mine in systems integrator and services giant EDS, which was acquired by HP for $13.9 million last year.

"The health care market is one of the few verticals showing signs of life in this economy, something every technology vendor has to notice," said an industry analyst who did not want to be named.

"EDS gives HP a number of big-ticket solutions it can offer health care clients, particularly insurance companies, pharmaceuticals and government. So it makes complete sense for HP to wrap its hardware/peripherals in with the services it can offer these clients via its EDS business," the analyst said.

EDS has a number of success stories in health care, including its recent win of a $148 million contract with the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

While EDS is far from alone -- IBM has a huge health care practice, and Microsoft to a lesser extent -- "HP is definitely well-positioned," the analyst said. "This is an area with a lot of money involved, and if HP/EDS can get their hands on a very small percentage of it through its services capabilities, you are talking major opportunity."

Currently, EDS offerings have not been integrated into HP hardware, but Brown said HP plans to work with the company in the next quarter.