Sun Microsystems, Inc., the creator and leading advocate of Java technology, announced today that it will support a consortium led by Northrop Grumman Corporation to help in the development of a prototype for a nationwide health-information network architecture. The effort will proceed in conjunction with other contracts awarded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services ( on November 10, 2005.

Designed to establish a secure, standards-compliant framework for the nationwide exchange of electronic health records, this prototype architecture represents an important step in realizing President Bush’s vision for an interoperable electronic health record for every American. With an extensive legacy in the healthcare space (based on the recent acquisition of SeeBeyond) and as one of the few IT systems members of the Healthcare Information Technology Standards Panel, Sun supports the harmonization of consensus-based standards necessary to enable the widespread interoperability of healthcare information in the United States.

Supporting the national goal of interoperability, integrated networks are being deployed at the regional level and will play a key role in the enablement of nationwide electronic health records. Leveraging Sun’s Java Integration Suite, early adopters such as the San Diego County Medical Society Foundation are leading regional initiatives to intelligently cross-match patient data from disparate points of care into a single patient record across the region.

Stephen Carson, M.D., Chief Medical Officer of the San Diego County Medical Society Foundation, comments, “Establishing a regional network is critical as a vehicle to support the federal goal of interoperability, while reducing medical errors and patient care. We are working with Sun to connect thousands of hospitals and physicians and healthcare organizations throughout our county to enhance patient safety and quality of care, while establishing the foundation for future connection to the National Health Information Network.”

“With the awarding of the national contracts, the Department of Health and Human Services has taken a giant leap forward towards establishing a 21st century healthcare infrastructure for Americans,” said Wayne Owens, vice president, Healthcare Integration Platforms, Sun Microsystems, Inc. “We look forward to working with Northrop Grumman as a part of the core team supporting the development of a national infrastructure prototype that will ultimately help to save lives, provide better medical services and slash the cost of healthcare.”

Leading this effort with technology providers like Sun, Northrop Grumman plans to develop a non-proprietary, standards-based open architecture that will leverage and extend the functionality of existing local and regional health-information networks, providing a common, scalable approach to national interoperability and information exchange. Northrop Grumman will develop the prototype architecture during a one-year contract that includes one option year. Work on the system will be done in Chantilly, Va. and Washington, D.C.