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Posted: 1/8/2013
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Philips Healthcare Healthcare Technology Firm Enhances Product Performance with High-Scale Testing Support

When Philips Healthcare wanted to perform high-scale performance tests on a critical-care information system, it needed access to a state-of-the-art testing lab. Through its long-term relationship with Microsoft Services Premier Support, Philips validated its software at the Microsoft Testing Services and Labs, which helped the company comply with regulatory standards, enhance the software’s performance, and win a multimillion dollar sale.

Business Needs
Philips Healthcare is dedicated to innovation that improves patient outcomes. Based in Andover, Massachusetts, Philips provides medical technology for private, public, and university hospitals and medical centers in more than 100 countries.

The IntelliSpace Critical Care and Anesthesia (ICCA) team at Philips is made up of 50 research and development engineers who build and configure the company’s ICCA clinical information software, which automates clinical, charting, orders management, and tracking vital signs of patients in critical care units, such as surgery and adult and neonatal intensive care. With more than 20 years of experience in clinical information systems, Philips released the first version of ICCA in 2001.

As Philips prepared to release the sixth version of ICCA in the fourth quarter of 2011, the ICCA team was focused on meeting its customers’ very high performance requirements, such as subsecond response times. “Every second that our application is not responding is another second that the caregiver’s eyes are not on the patient,” says Andrew Arthur, Director of Engineering at Philips Healthcare. “In a critical care situation, we don’t want to steal time from the caregiver.”

* As Microsoft technologies have advanced, we have used our strong relationship with Microsoft Services Premier Support to increase our knowledge base and continuously enhance our product. *

Andrew Arthur
Director of Engineering, Philips Healthcare

Because ICCA is categorized as a medical device, Philips must also meet stringent US and international regulatory standards for testing and clinical validation. Arthur and his team wanted to perform load tests on ICCA that simulated up to 3,000 patients, but Philips did not have the in-house capacity to test the application at that scale. The ICCA team needed access to a state-of-the-art testing lab and expert help to effectively execute its validation processes.

Since 2008, the Philips ICCA team has worked with Microsoft Services Premier Support to validate ICCA updates at the Microsoft Testing Services and Labs. The team has an ongoing relationship with Microsoft Development Consultants and a Premier Support Application Development Manager dedicated to the ICCA team.

“Our Application Development Manager has his own development expertise, and he knows where to find the Microsoft resources that we need,” says Arthur. “More importantly, he understands our business and what we have to accomplish.”

Before the 2011 Testing Services and Labs engagement, the ICCA team worked with its Microsoft Services Application Development Manager to outline the level of testing, scope the required hardware, and set up a test ICCA system in the lab that was twice the size that Philips expected to encounter in the field. The ICCA team then remotely configured the system to replicate a customer environment and began testing even before it arrived onsite for the one-week engagement.

“We walked into the Testing Services Lab and literally began reviewing performance results the first hour on day one,” says Arthur. “That’s a testament to our relationship with Premier Support.”

The new ICCA release was built on the Microsoft .NET Framework 4, Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 data management software, and the Windows Server 2008 R2 operating system. When the Philips team wanted to refine response times in an updated ICCA module for monitoring analgesics infusion pumps, it worked with Premier Support experts to optimize the .NET Framework and SQL Server components of the module, ultimately reducing the response time by 75 percent.

“At the Microsoft Testing Services Lab, we had the opportunity to test our product at scale, identify performance bottlenecks, and squeeze out every millisecond of response time that we could,” says Arthur.

Through its engagement with Microsoft Services Premier Support, Philips has built a valuable strategic relationship that has helped the company comply with its regulatory obligations, enhance the performance of its ICCA software, and expand its revenue opportunities.

Strategic Relationship
By building a long-term relationship with Premier Support, the ICCA team at Philips has optimized its engagements at the Microsoft Services and Testing Labs. A one-week engagement at the lab is now a routine part of the ICCA testing process, and Philips submits the results as part of its clinical validations.

“We built the first version of ICCA using the .NET Framework 1.0, SQL Server 2000, and Windows Server 2003,” says Arthur. “As Microsoft technologies have advanced, we have used our strong relationship with Microsoft Services Premier Support to increase our knowledge base and continuously enhance our product.”

High Performance
At the Microsoft Testing Services and Labs, Philips successfully tested its latest upgrade of ICCA, met its timeline and budget goals, and accelerated the software’s release to market. The company reduced average test time by 2.7 seconds across 27 load test cases, which helped it improve ICCA performance and expand the application’s capacity by 56 percent.

“By simplifying workflows for caregivers, we can enhance patient care and improve outcomes,” says Arthur. “We have already received positive customer feedback on the high performance and sophisticated specifications in our latest release, which helps Philips build credibility in the market.”

New Opportunities
By validating ICCA at a large scale, Philips expanded its business and revenue opportunities. In fact, almost immediately after its release, the latest version of ICCA yielded a multimillion dollar sale for Philips.

“After we validated our latest release, we finalized a multimillion dollar sale with a large hospital in Europe for a deployment that was twice the size of anything that we had done before,” says Arthur. “Without the work we did at the Microsoft Testing Services and Labs, we could not even have bid on that project.”

Microsoft Services
Microsoft Services is a global team of professionals who are dedicated to helping customers maximize the value of their investment in Microsoft software. Microsoft Services touches customers more than 715 million times a year, helping them plan, deploy, support, and optimize our technologies. They also work closely with Microsoft partners by sharing their technological expertise and product knowledge on a regular basis.

For more information about Microsoft Services, go to:


Solution Overview

Organization Size: 37000 employees

Organization Profile

With 37,000 employees worldwide, Philips Healthcare develops medical technology for hospitals in more than 100 countries. In 2011, Philips earned almost US$11.5 billion in total revenue.

Software and Services
  • Microsoft Services Premier Support
  • Microsoft Services
  • Windows Server 2008 R2
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2

Vertical Industries
Health Information Exchanges

United States

Business Need
Support and Services