Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare Launched

Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare was launched on May 19, 2020. The new healthcare-specific offering from Microsoft is available in public preview, is being offered on a free trial for the next 6 months and is expected to be rolled out in Q4, 2020.

The new cloud offering brings together a host of current capabilities for high-value workflows that aim to improve collaboration and help clinicians with decision making by delivering the right information at the right time. The platform also supports automation of workflows and helps healthcare providers improve operational efficiency.

The capabilities, which already exist through the likes of Microsoft Dynamics 365, Microsoft Azure, Azure IoT, Microsoft 365, and Microsoft chatbots, will help improve patient engagement, empower closer collaboration between health teams, and allow in-depth data analytics of both structured and unstructured data to improve operational and clinical data insights.

Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare is built on a platform that makes it easy to share data between applications and analyse any data that those applications collect to drive better operational outcomes. The platform satisfies interoperability objectives and incorporates the high level of security demanded by HIPAA. There is also a robust ecosystem of healthcare partners who will be able to deliver additional solutions that integrate fully with Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare to extend the core cloud capabilities.

“The Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare helps healthcare organizations to engage in more proactive ways with their patients, allows caregivers to improve the efficiency of their workflows and streamline interactions with Classified as Microsoft Confidential patients with more actionable results,” explained Microsoft.

Some of the current capabilities that have already been adopted by hospitals include the Bookings app, which is being used by clinicians to engage with patients without leaving their existing workflows. The Bookings app integrates with the Teams platform which allows clinicians to book and conduct virtual visits. With the COVID-19 pandemic bringing regulatory changes to expand the use of telehealth, and those changes expected to be made permanent, virtual care is likely to continue to play an important part of patients’ care journeys.

Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare includes tools that help healthcare providers create patient engagement portal that support self-serve appointment booking, physician referrals, and medical forms. The portals incorporate virtual agents and chatbots to help patients navigate the portal.

Microsoft also explained that the Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare includes Dynamics 365 Marketing and Customer Service, which allow clinicians to develop individualized care plans for patients. Microsoft Azure IoT allows clinicians to remotely monitor patients by collecting data from medical devices. Both of these capabilities help hospitals to reduce readmissions.

The Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare is the first of several industry-specific cloud offerings that will be developed over the coming months to provide a platform and a set of tools to meet the needs of each industry sector

Author: Steve Alder has many years of experience as a journalist, and comes from a background in market research. He is a specialist on legal and regulatory affairs, and has several years of experience writing about HIPAA. Steve holds a B.Sc. from the University of Liverpool.