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At Microsoft Ignite, we announced Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare. will be generally available on October 30, 2020. Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare is how Microsoft and our partner ecosystem helps healthcare organizations reimagine tomorrow. You can read more about how Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare comes to life from our Corporate Vice President of Worldwide Health, Tom McGuinness, in his blog Creating a resilient patient-centered healthcare system.

Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare provides capabilities in a connected experience across data, workflow, and cloud-scale analytics, combining the power of Microsoft Dynamics 365, Microsoft Power Platform, Microsoft 365, and Microsoft Azure. Our robust ecosystem of partners extends those capabilities with SaaS and PaaS-based healthcare solutions across health providers, payors, biopharma, and med tech.

There’s no question that across the healthcare ecosystem we are in unprecedented times, and cloud has never been more important. According to KLAS Research, “The COVID-19 crisis has rocked the healthcare world and prompted many to reimagine how technology can effectively forward their mission of improving patient care. Healthcare organizations appreciate working with vendors that offer solutions developed specifically to meet the needs of their industry and are increasingly seeking solutions that deliver benefits across their entire business.”

For the last several years, Microsoft has worked with leading Independent Software Vendors (ISV) and System Integrator (SI) partners to develop the cloud. This year, partners have been part of our preview to evaluate, build-upon, test, and be readied to support enterprise and mid-market customers. Almost 1000 partner and Microsoft personnel around the world are engaged in the preview. Microsoft’s One Commercial Partner organization works closely with Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare team to help our key strategic partners build solutions and co-sell with them.

Enhance patient engagement

Improving the way that patients engage with both providers and healthcare organizations is a central part of what the Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare enables. Mazik Global partnered with us early in the development process and built solutions on the Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare to help their customers better engage with patients. “As one of the original development partners, Mazik teamed with Microsoft from the start to improve how healthcare organizations operate and serve their patients,” said Mazik Global Corporate Vice President Syed Fahad.

The flagship MazikCare application continues to evolve and complement the Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare with customer relationship management (CRM) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) applications for care coordination, provider marketing, electronic health record (EHR) integration and interoperability, and supply chain management (SCM). Because MazikCare comes deployment-ready, it enables healthcare organizations to see a return on investment immediately. Fahad continues, “This relationship has opened up great opportunities for partners like us to rapidly fulfill a variety of customer use cases with our unique, pre-built healthcare applications.”

Solutions for pharmaceutical and life sciences organizations are available through partners such as Omnipresence, delivering a unified and intelligent customer experience platform (CXM) that provides transformed experiences with CRM, omnichannel engagement, advanced analytics, and artificial intelligence (AI). Omnipresence has built upon the Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare platform with CX business processes, multichannel campaign engagement, event management, omnichannel experiences, and life sciences insights. “With the introduction of the Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare, the life sciences industry has an opportunity to provide a much more connected and elevated patient experience,” said Sanjay Virmani, CEO at Omnipresence. “The now-launched Omnipresence Patient Cloud is incorporating the new capabilities of the Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare, together with its underlying trusted computing and data security infrastructure to solve for the big disconnects between life sciences organizations and patients who ultimately rely on their products.”

“KenSci is leveraging the Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare…to create a digital hospital that is always on for the patients who need it the most.” Sunny Neogi, Chief Growth Officer, KenSci

Empower health team collaboration

Empowering health teams for improved collaboration, communication, and virtual health is also core to the focus of Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, partners have been working with municipalities, healthcare systems, and clinicians to help them digitally respond to the challenges presented by the global health crisis. For example, Cognizant built an integrated solution using Microsoft Teams for virtual visits.

As COVID-19 began, Cognizant and Sensyne Health rapidly prototyped, built, and deployed a COVID-19 self-monitoring solution in the United Kingdom. Sensyne, a clinical AI company, is another Microsoft partner working with the U.K.’s National Health Service (NHS). “Leveraging low-code/no-code technologies based on Office 365 and the Microsoft Healthcare Bot service, we worked with our client to create a digital-first experience that helps people record and monitor their COVID-19 symptoms and risks,” said Cognizant’s North America Modern Workplace Lead and Chief Architect for Collaboration Suzanne George. Cognizant was recognized as the 2020 Microsoft U.S. Partner of the Year for Modern Workplace—Apps & Solutions for Microsoft Teams.

The Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare uses a breadth of omnichannel capabilities to empower care teams to engage with patients wherever they are, at any time, on any device. George added, “We designed a mobile-first, omnichannel user experience, so anyone could access the app via smartphone, tablet, or computer. Working together with the client and Microsoft, the initial solution was deployed in a few weeks.”

“The healthcare industry has changed as a result of the pandemic and will not be the same as the one before.” Scott Johnson, CTO Trizetto, Cognizant

Microsoft partners offer a breadth of healthcare-specific apps that are integrated as a part of the Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare. For example, Agfa’s XERO Universal Viewer integration with Microsoft Teams helps medical staff share clinical imaging results quickly and securely throughout a network of medical professionals within Microsoft Teams.

The Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare also includes EHR integration using the Azure API for FHIR and the Microsoft Teams EHR connector, available in private preview through the Epic App Orchard, allowing clinicians to schedule and launch an EHR connected visit with Teams. Virtual visits can be launched with a single click from Epic provider apps and patient portals, streamlining user experiences, charting, and IT manageability.

Likewise, we’ve recently announced the Nuance Dragon Ambient eXperience (DAX) will integrate with Microsoft Teams, securely capturing and contextualizing physician-patient conversations within Microsoft Teams and providing automated clinical documentation for virtual visits. The Nuance DAX and Teams integration is available to customers in preview. “Health systems and their care teams are facing unprecedented challenges as they strive to deliver great patient care while dealing with extreme financial pressures and a worldwide pandemic,“ said Peter Durlach, Senior Vice President, Healthcare Strategy & New Business Development at Nuance. “With physicians more taxed than ever before, they need a technology solution that not only helps to improve clinical documentation but also accommodates effective virtual visits.”

“The Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare is a game-changing initiative.” Jitesh Ghai, SVP & GM, Data Management, Informatica

System Integrator partners have also been on the frontline of insight, engagement, and digital innovation to support healthcare customers, prior to and during the COVID-19 pandemic. One such partner is KPMG, recognized as the 2020 Global SI Digital Transformation Microsoft Partner of the Year. Dr. Anna van Poucke, incoming Global Head of Healthcare at KPMG shared her thoughts. “The COVID-19 global pandemic has further highlighted that a major transformation in healthcare is needed—both in the way that care is delivered to patients and how the supporting healthcare system is designed to deliver it. The COVID-19 pandemic has helped highlight that the digital front door has become the front door for delivering healthcare and that most patients support this trend.”

Demand for transformation in healthcare is driven by more than just the pandemic, as Dr. van Pouke points out, “The marked increase in the aging population across the globe, and the complexity of their problems, demands change in the way care is provided and challenges current delivery systems across all facets of the healthcare system. To help solve this ongoing strain and serve patients in the best possible way, multi-disciplinary teams with representatives from different organizational settings in the healthcare sector and the surrounding ecosystem must come together to share information and insights so they can better develop and deliver holistic care.”

This is where the Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare comes in as an enabler of improved collaboration, communication, and care coordination. “Technology platforms such as the Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare can help to realize this collaboration through increased levels of patient experience, including access to home healthcare and a 360-patient view that is accessible to all of the medical professionals involved. All this is done in a secure environment designed to keep patient data safe.” added van Poucke.

Improve clinical and operational data insights

Helping healthcare providers and organizations have improved access to business intelligence (BI) and analytics for actionable insights is another core capability of the Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare. KenSci, recognized as the 2020 Microsoft Partner of the year for Healthcare in the United States, drove rapid innovation to help customers respond to COVID-19, building a COVID Command Center to track personal protective equipment (PPE), ventilators, patients, and labs. Built on the Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare, they developed new capabilities in less than four weeks, extending the Command Center to work with the Microsoft Healthcare Bot service, support interoperability through the Azure API for FHIR and Microsoft Power BI to present critical health data for care teams. “Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare has helped us accelerate the pace of innovation in times of COVID-19,” said KenSci Chief Growth Officer Sunny Neogi. “Our customers across the world are under tremendous pressure to respond to the pandemic and to reimagine care delivery in a virtual world, in real-time.”

“This moment could forge a reimagination of both the patient and healthcare practitioners’ experiences…making it a truly historic opportunity.” Sanjay Virmani, CEO, Omnipresence

Microsoft partner solutions also provide critical building blocks to empower and activate a connected healthcare ecosystem across the breadth of applications and systems health systems have. Informatica, recognized as our 2020 Microsoft Partner of the Year for Data Analytics connects, extends, and enables healthcare data—and its associated workflows and cloud-scale analytics—within the Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare, as well as the customer’s on-premises environment. Informatica’s AI-driven Enterprise Cloud Data Management platform ensures the data is managed as a reliable and trustworthy asset, orchestrating the flow of data between applications, data sources, and data consumers, including data warehousing and data lakes, governance and privacy, and interoperability—processing some 15+ trillion cloud transactions per month!

“We have seen an increased need for healthcare organizations to be data-driven and move analytic workloads to the cloud for agility. The Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare is a game-changing initiative as it consolidates a broad set of applications and capabilities that accelerate healthcare’s cloud adoption,” said Informatica Sr. Vice President & General Manager, Data Management, Jitesh Ghai. “We are excited to be part of the Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare ecosystem. Our iPaaS—Informatica Intelligent Cloud Services—provides critical capabilities for healthcare providers by ensuring data is reliable and trustworthy for executive and clinical decision-makers. This is achieved first by analytics and predictive models on Azure having the ability to operate against new and existing data sources that are of known data quality; second, data, dashboards, and reports are clear and universally understood in a rapidly evolving application and analytics self-service environment; and third, a highly personalized experience for patients so that they are comfortable in returning for routine and emergent healthcare services.” 

Empowering healthcare organizations to respond, recover, and reimagine their tomorrow

The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic are unprecedented. However, the demands for timely patient and clinical information, the need to connect virtually with patients, and the increased collaboration and communication required for care teams and communities have fostered rapid innovation from Microsoft partners. That innovation has helped our healthcare customers respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and is foundational for the future of healthcare. Omnipresence’s Virmani put it best, “This moment could forge a reimagination of both the patient and healthcare practitioners’ experiences into fundamentally more responsive, connected, and meaningful ones, making it a truly historic opportunity.”

The Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare is enabling our partner ecosystem to help empower healthcare customers to reimagine their tomorrow through better experiences, better insights, and better care.

Learn more about the partners highlighted here and their healthcare solutions by visiting: KenSci, KPMG, Informatica, Cognizant, Agfa, Nuance, Mazik Global, Sensyne Health, and Omnipresence.