Microsoft announces Cloud for Healthcare availability
September 23, 2020
TORONTO – Microsoft announced that Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare will be generally available on October 30, 2020, including managed services designed to support healthcare organizations. This integrated solution enables customers to quickly access a portfolio of released and new healthcare capabilities tailored to the unique requirements of health data in the cloud.
“It unlocks the power of Microsoft Azure, Microsoft 365, Microsoft Dynamics 365, Microsoft Power Platform, and our ecosystem of partner healthcare solutions to create trusted end-to-end cloud-based solutions,” said Tom McGuinness (pictured), corporate vice president, Worldwide Health, at Microsoft. “Healthcare organizations can engage in more proactive ways with patients and give caregivers tools to improve data interoperability, workflow efficiency, and streamline interactions.”
Commenting on the upcoming release, Matt Kull, CIO, Cleveland Clinic, said: “There are a couple areas where I believe cloud technology for healthcare like Microsoft’s can play a critical role in a future that’s based on digital technologies, both focused on interoperability. The first is interoperability between systems, allowing us to take data from health records and other data sources, over FHIR interfaces, and combine it together into a single place where it can be used to inform and deliver patient-centric care.”
He added, “The second is to enable real-time complex deep learning by normalizing data from different systems in a way that allows complex algorithmic analyses to occur via AI or ML, and integrate research-based insights back into a clinical workflow.”
The general availability release will provide the following new capabilities:
- Patient 360 based on HL7 FHIR: health providers can get full context into the patient’s history and their current encounters, conditions, procedures, and appointments, all fed from the EMR data repository, all built in healthcare common data model, based on HL7 FHIR with direct integration to the Azure FHIR service.
- Patient engagement with powerful insights: use real-time data to build personalized patient outreach programs that create proactive care experiences.
- Patient access to healthcare on their terms: create unique, omnichannel patient experiences and engagements for self-scheduling appointments, physician searches, proactive wellness outreach, care reminders, and online interactions with care agents, patient portals, or virtual health bots.
- Care coordination and care management: maximize the value of care being delivered by helping care teams create actionable insights across care plans and interactions with individual patients, that ensures the patient’s needs and preferences are known and addressed.
- Home health support: offer a broad range of medical care and support services by optimizing resource management, planning, and health team efficiency to assign the right healthcare worker to fit the patient’s needs.
On a related front, Microsoft said that it is continuing to invest in solutions that leverage Teams to meet the unique needs of the healthcare industry. “We’re making virtual care easier with the Microsoft Teams EHR connector, now in preview. This connector will allow clinicians and patients to launch Teams virtual visits right from Epic’s patient and provider portals. We also have a rich set of APIs to allow for Teams integration into other existing healthcare workflows,” said McGuinness.
Virtual visit experiences on mobile have been streamlined. Patients will soon be able to receive a text confirmation of their appointment, a reminder, and a link to join. With Mobile WebRTC, patients no longer even need to install an app on their device for the visit.
Care team collaboration has also gotten easier with Lists in Teams, giving the entire care team a smart tracking system to huddle and collaborate on their patients. They can run processes like multi-disciplinary team meetings, discharge planning, rounding, nurse huddles, and more.
According to a recent McKinsey & Co. report, healthcare providers reported 50 to 175 fold increases in telehealth patient volumes since the onset of the pandemic. This demonstrates the potential for telehealth services to improve care access and quality, patient outcomes, and healthcare system efficiency. The report urged healthcare providers to act now to scale the use of highly secure, workflow-integrated telehealth technology, incorporate virtual visits into the continuum of care, and expand services to more patient encounters and medical specialties.
To transform provider and patient experiences during virtual visits, Nuance Communications Inc. and Microsoft announce the integration of the Nuance Dragon Ambient eXperience (DAX) with Microsoft Teams.
This integrated solution:
- Synthesizes physician-patient conversations during virtual visits conducted on Microsoft Teams while physicians remain focused on the patient instead of a computer keyboard.
- Integrates patient data with contextual information from the electronic health record (EHR) to auto-populate a complete and highly accurate clinical note for physicians to review directly within the patient’s medical record.
Visit Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare to view demos and join our preview, https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/industry/health/microsoft-cloud-for-healthcare.