It’s been an incredible year so far for the health industry. We’ve seen the dream and the opportunity of digital transformation and AI start to really take shape in the marketplace.
We saw many examples of this last month at HIMSS 2019, many of our partners and other cloud providers are offering commoditized access to complex healthcare algorithms and models to improve clinical and business outcomes.
These examples show how cloud computing and AI can deliver on the promise of digital transformation. But for health organizations to realize that potential, they have to trust the technology—and their technology partner.
Microsoft has always taken the lead on providing cloud platforms and services that help health organizations protect their data and meet their rigorous security and compliance requirements. Recently, we announced the HIPAA eligibility and HITRUST certifications of Microsoft Cognitive Services and Office 365.
It’s crucial for health organizations to feel utterly confident not only in their technology partner’s ability to help them safeguard their data and infrastructure, and comply with industry standards, but also in their partner’s commitment to help them digitally transform their way—whatever their needs or objectives are. Our mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. So whether you’re a health provider, pharmaceutical company, or retailer entering healthcare, your mission is our mission. Our business model is rooted in delivering success rather than disruption for our customers.
Another point of vital importance as we support the movement of healthcare as an industry—and healthcare data specifically—to the cloud is ensuring that we avoid the sins of the past, specifically data silos.
To that end, we jointly announced with other leading cloud providers that we’re committed to healthcare data interoperability among cloud platforms and supporting common data standards like Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR). And I was particularly thrilled to see the excitement in the health industry in reaction to our launch last last month with Azure API for FHIR and our commitment to develop open source FHIR servers. I hope you’ll join the huge movement behind health interoperability fueled by FHIR and encourage your technologists to start actively using the open-source project to bring diverse data sets together—and to build systems that learn from those data sets.
As my colleague, Doug Seven, recently wrote, interoperability helps you bring together data from disparate sources, apply AI to it to gain insights, and then enrich care team and patient tools with those insights to help you achieve your mission. That’s a crucial step in the digital transformation of health.
Another crucial step is supporting health teamwork. With the changing nature of care delivery, health services increasingly require coordination across multiple care settings and health professionals. So we launched a new set of capabilities to our Teams platform that provides workflows for first-line clinical workers such as doctors and nurses that they can use to access patient information and coordinate care in real time.
The end game
Why does all of this matter? To answer that question, I always come back to the quadruple aim, which all of us in the health industry strive for: enhancing both patient and caregivers’ experiences, improving the health of populations, and lowering the costs of healthcare.
Empowering care teams and patients with data insights and tools that help them coordinate care—and that they and your health organization can trust—will help bring about the desired outcomes of the quadruple aim. Not only will this systemic change improve clinical and business outcomes, but also, at an individual level, enhance the day-to-day and digital experiences of clinical workers and patients alike—creating better experiences, better insights, and better care across the delivery system.
Learn more about real-world use cases for AI in the e-book: “Breaking down AI: 10 real applications in healthcare.”
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Author: Steve Clarke