Will Soon Reveal Its Next $1 Billion Initiative: Health Care

Marc benioff salesforceREUTERS/Ruben Marc Benioff

In fewer than 100 days, the Benioff Children’s hospital will open in San Francisco, mostly thanks to a huge $US200 million donation from CEO Marc Benioff and his wife Lynne.

The Benioffs have been working with the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF) on building this hospital since 2010.

It turns out that all that exposure to the way hospitals do business has given Benioff ideas.

His company is set to announce in November a new initiative to sell cloud services software to the health care industry, according to Christina Farr and Bill Rigby at Reuters who broke this story. thinks this could be its next $US1 billion idea, sources told Reuters. And it’s currently hiring like mad to go after it.

Health care software is an interesting, and lucrative, nut to crack. Hospitals, doctors offices and related industries will spend $US31.3 billion on tech by 2017, some market researchers predict.

But because of privacy laws like HIPAA, they can’t buy any old cloud service to store documents, chat, or send data to their phones or tablets. These services have to get certified with special security controls and get certain government stamps of approval.

Remember Benioff started life as a teen coding genius and is still a bona-fide gadget geek known to wear two fitband wrist computers at once.

And doctors love iPads.

It makes sense that the hospital that bears his name would be the first to use a new app called CareWeb Messenger, built on’s cloud, Reuters reports. It will let doctors, nurses and patients chat on mobile devices while complying with HIPAA. could try to sell it to other hospitals, although there’s already a ton of competition in that market (HipaaChat, Doximity, for instance).

It could also get into the electronic health care records business, following competitors like Microsoft and Oracle.

And it will almost certainly try to get into the brand new field of consumer health care apps tied to the “Internet of Things,” or devices outfitted with sensors. This take advantage of new sensors added to all sorts of health care monitoring devices, everything from pill bottles to contact lenses, will share data, and get their own apps. wants to host those apps and help make them all work together.

Work on that at has already begun. In April, the company announced a partnership with Philips that will let care givers monitor patients with chronic conditions in their homes.

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