"Both parties have invested $25m in research to develop new products and new applications for the healthcare business on a worldwide basis," said Hubert de Pesquidoux, president of Alcatel-Lucent's Enterprise Business group.
Dan Drawbaugh, chief information officer at UPMC, said that the 10-year relationship would also cover the deployment of a number of products at UPMC.
These include a single converged network infrastructure, dual-mode phones, unified messaging, hospital-wide Wi-Fi, network bandwidth, unified dialling, carrier-class optical and network routing, integrated and virtualised call centres and a general technology refresh.
However, Tom Burns, president of the enterprise solutions division at Alcatel-Lucent, maintained that the deal offered much more than a single tie-up with one health body.
"Drawbaugh was being relatively modest. He wants UPMC to be the predominant healthcare provider and an example of healthcare worldwide," he said.
Burns added that UPMC hoped to achieve this goal by transforming its capability in telecoms to change the way health care is provided to its patients and to make the doctors and nurses more productive.
The link-up between the two organisations is expected to bear fruit, as UPMC has had previous success developing commercially viable technology.
"Stentor is a picture archiving system for digital images developed at UPMC by a radiologist," said Drawbaugh. "We spun it out in as a for-profit company and in four years sold it to Philips for $280m."
Drawbaugh said that UPMC had invested in other strategic initiatives and outside partners since 1996, including 28 companies and 10 venture funds.
"With the technological direction and the convergence of voice and data we believe Alcatel-Lucent is one of the most strategic," he said.
"With video requirements in health care it is going to be one of the most important relationships going forward."
UPMC said that mergers, acquisitions and local vendor solutions had led to the medical centre running 156 disparate telephony systems, 31 voicemail systems, more than 50 video-conference systems and over 70 tele-health applications, all on a six-year-old network.
"In healthcare today there is a major convergence in medical devices, medical equipment and the IT area," Drawbaugh said.
"In fact, in our organisation, it is very difficult to tell you where the biomedical engineering component begins and the IT component begins and where both end."
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