The urgent and widespread impact of the global health pandemic is shining a light on the healthcare industry and the critical need for continued, rapid transformation.
In response, Microsoft partners are applying advanced technologies such as the internet of things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI) to create solutions that are enabling healthcare workers to deliver quality care to more people while keeping patients and providers safer.
Below, I’ve highlighted a few of the contributions that Microsoft partners are making as the world comes together to solve critical healthcare needs.
OneCare OneWatch delivers safety and peace of mind for elderly loved ones
With the global prevalence of social distancing mandates, consumer-grade, connected devices are giving senior citizens greater independence—and their loved ones greater peace of mind.
CareWatch by OneCare is a prime example. Powered by Microsoft Azure IoT Hub, the watch collects data about a wearer’s sleep, activity, and heart rate, while also providing fall detection and even geofencing, which sends alerts if the wearer is somewhere unfamiliar. The CareWatch enables senior citizens to age in place while keeping family members fully informed about their health and safety.
In the wake of the global health pandemic, the founder of One Care, Thomas Glaser, and his team are offering CareWatch and their monthly service free of charge to users for a period of eight weeks or as specified by CDC guidance for social distancing.
“It’s critical for families and caregivers to have access to this social–distancing solution during this time,” says Karen Leeker, Managing Partner of Innovation at OneCare. “It’s our way of contributing to reducing the psychological, spiritual, physical, and economic effects of social isolation.”
After contracting COVID-19 himself, Dr. Jeff Hatcher, OneCare Board Member and Medical Director, experienced first-hand the benefits CareWatch brought to him and his family during his time in quarantine. “It was truly remarkable the effect it had. And I can also say, as a physician, OneCare is fundamentally changing the way we caregivers stay connected with our patients across the healthcare continuum…post-hospitalization, homecare, senior living, and in the physician practice.”
Pillo enables early triage and at-home care
At a time when medical facilities are overburdened and the risk of virus transmission is high, giving patients the tools to make informed decisions from the safety of their own homes is critical. Partners and customers are building solutions using the Microsoft Healthcare bot service, which combines conversational AI with built-in medical intelligence to deliver healthcare experiences at scale. Many providers and agencies have already adopted the service to assist in early triage for COVID-19. A great example is the CDC, which created a Coronavirus Self–Checker to help patients evaluate symptoms and make decisions about seeking medical treatment.
For patients managing chronic disease, Microsoft partner Pillo Health offers Pillo, a custom home health companion that focuses on medication adherence and health management. Real-time alerts and video-calling capabilities enable professional and family caregivers to monitor patient health from afar.
In response to the global health pandemic, Pillo Health updated its devices to answer key questions related to the virus. Patients can ask questions such as: what are the symptoms of COVID-19? Who is at risk? And how easily does the virus spread? Pillo Health plans to add a symptom checker in the coming weeks.
Devices like Pillo have become key tools in the flattening of the curve. Not only does Pillo enable remote visits with physicians and medical personnel, but it serves as an important platform for staying connected with loved ones and staving off loneliness and depression.
PCL Construction, WZMH Architects, Camillion and Microsoft join forces with other industry leaders to build safe, portable, and accessible virus testing solutions
Providing a safe way to conduct COVID-19 screening and testing is crucial to getting patients’ vital medical help while preventing further spread of the virus. Microsoft partners Insight and PCL Construction, have joined forced with Camillion and WZHM Architects to augment technology and create the Citizen Care Pod, a Smart Screening and Testing Pod (SSTP), equipped with AI and IoT technologies.
These retrofitted sea containers can be installed with minimal infrastructure requirements, only requiring an AC power connection for air conditioning and electric heating, once installed on-site, along with a local wired or wireless internet connectivity. The Citizen Care Pod containers are designed with up to four testing stations per unit that can physically separate the healthcare ‘tester’ from the person being tested, for a safer testing environment.
The SSTP is designed and engineered to responsibly support a variety of technologies, and uses IoT and AI to securely monitor and estimate patient volumes, while also advising if reasonable safety measures are being followed. If more than 3-4 medical staff are detected inside the container, it can remind the staff to observe physical distance requirements.
Inside the SSTP, PCL’s Job Site Insights™ platform uses Microsoft Azure, including Azure IoT services, to monitor climate conditions such as temperature, pressure, and humidity and can provide notification if thresholds are exceeded.
The first CSA® certified Citizen Care Pod prototypes have been manufactured by PCL in Alberta and Ontario, allowing testing and triage outside hospitals, office buildings, as well as sporting venues and other public spaces.
A multitude of partners has joined the industry-leading collaboration including:
- Architectural: Parkin Architect, WZMH ARCHITECTS
- Engineering: Quasar Consulting Group, Loring, Stephenson Engineering
- Technology: TrakIT, GOJO, Bosch, Dell Technologies, Insight, PCL, Microsoft Azure, Baka
Inventing with Purpose
We want to thank all our partners and customers who are doing their part to help the world respond to the global pandemic. To learn more and join us and our partners, please visit the following pages: