• Software maker starts initiative for data collection, analysis
  • Initiative steered by Bill McDermott, who lost eye in fall

SAP SE Chief Executive Bill McDermott is back traveling and attending meetings after finding out in September he’d lose an eye following a severe household accident in July. Based on his recovery experience, the CEO is moving the German business software company deeper into programs that can improve communications and information sharing for doctors.

SAP on Tuesday announced Foundation for Health, a new product that lets doctors and researchers collect and analyze medical data such as research, electronic health records and human genome sequences in a single system. The idea is to let doctors and researchers customize new drugs and treatments for individuals as well as groups.

The company also released Medical Research Insights, which helps group patients for clinical trials.

“By unlocking patient data and uncovering real insights, not just patients but research organizations, life-science companies and research institutes can use technology to realize the full potential of that information and transform the health-care sector into personalized medicine,” Bernd Leukert, SAP executive board member for technology, said at an event in Frankfurt Tuesday. CEO McDermott is an avid supporter of the software and has pushed the initiative in the aftermath of his accident, a spokeswoman said.

SAP, which will post an expected 20.5 billion euros ($22.3 billion) in sales this year, already sells health-care software for patient administration, billing and managing clinical trials. The company, based in Walldorf, Germany, is the biggest supplier of business applications for managing companies’ finances, manufacturing and other operations.

The new medical program stores information in SAP database software called Hana, which claims 10,000 customers and is meant to persuade businesses that run SAP applications to use its products for storing the underlying data, instead of buying databases from competitors including Oracle Corp.

McDermott fell down the stairs in the night at his brother’s house in the U.S. in July and landed on a shattered water glass, cutting his face, rendering him unconscious and lodging a piece of glass in his eye. He spent a week in an intensive care unit and found out in September he would lose the eye.

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