Azure for healthcare: Opportunities abound in the cloud
Healthcare is big business in the US—and around the world—and an industry vitally important to people's wellbeing. Microsoft launched its Cloud for Healthcare in October 2020 as a collection of pre-built tools for use by both providers and patients like industry accelerators, FHIR support, a Health Bot service a Teams EHR connector, security enhancements, data insights, and more.
The company's investments in healthcare have continued in the last year, most notably with the Nuance acquisition in April 2021. In August they announced Azure Healthcare APIs, a replacement for Azure API for FHIR, to ingest, manage, and persist data while safeguarding Protected Health Information.
MSCloudNews reached out to partners for more perspective on how Microsoft is addressing demand from the healthcare sector.
Expanding the use cases for Azure-based services
Large organizations like hospitals and health insurance providers are often slow to adopt new technologies, although the urgency of change during the pandemic over the last year and a half has accelerated digitization. Mahadeva Bisappa, Principle Architect for Cloud and Digital Transformation at SPR explained that Microsoft has tried to develop pre-built solutions for rapid deployment and as a way to reduce the costs of customization. For instance, one capability supports telehealth appointments with Microsoft Teams, with integrated AI-based text to speech.
Healthcare organizations use many different software applications or systems and software embedded in lots of medical equipment to run their medical operations and services efficiently. So, the latest cloud technologies have a big role to play in being able to modernize many such legacy software systems to take advantage of what the cloud platforms and latest cloud technologies offer to automate, streamline and integrate many disconnected systems and processes. [Cloud also supports] artificial intelligence, machine learning and data science to analyze massive amounts of medical data they have been gathering to determine better treatments, better medicine and early detection of diseases, and many more such use cases and benefits.
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