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In this dynamic healthcare era, there’s no more “business as usual.” The way healthcare organizations will work, engage with patients and support community health will never be the same, and it may feel like there’s no roadmap for what’s ahead. Reimagining the next healthcare era, will take continued agility to respond rapidly and predict what’s next, and that requires a new approach to healthcare solutions—one that harnesses data as a resource, and turns its potential into power. Healthcare organizations need to learn how to build upon a strong digital foundation that will carry their organization well into the future.

It’s been over a year since we announced the general availability of Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare and our vision—to create a resilient patient-centered healthcare journey. Since then, I’ve had the opportunity to talk to healthcare organizations and partners across the globe about the trends in the future of healthcare and life sciences that organizations can capitalize on today. We discussed the need for solutions to elevate the patient experience, ease the administrative burden for frontline healthcare workers, and easily optimize Microsoft cloud technologies for their specific business scenarios. With recently announced enhanced features, Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare continues to produce capabilities built on top of the secure, compliant Microsoft cloud that offers healthcare organizations the scale and performance needed for managing their specific workflows, accelerating access to data insights and unifying data governance that helps their organization manage and govern their data, wherever it resides. Along with our partners, we continue to build on the foundation with tools and systems that make it easier for communities and healthcare organization to have access to data to make better informed decisions, gives health teams connected collaboration tools, and easily adopts the data standards that are important to healthcare.

During Microsoft Ignite 2021, Lisa Maki, VP Health Alliances, Microsoft, was able to connect with Tony Mestres, President, Truveta about our recent strategic partnership announcement and how they’re building an unprecedented data platform. Truveta is creating a learning community for health, bringing researchers together to easily build on each other’s work, readily share their data-driven questions and answers, and ultimately speed their time to insight. Its 17 health provider members care for tens of millions of people and operate thousands of care facilities in 40 states. Clinical data from its health provider members represents the full diversity of the U.S. across age, geography, race, ethnicity, and gender. The Truveta platform will leverage the power of Microsoft Azure and artificial intelligence (AI) to include insights from billions of de-identified datapoints, including medical records, images, and genomics. Importantly, data is refreshed daily and continuously flowing, providing researchers with an unprecedented opportunity to learn about our nation’s health every day. In the future, the Truveta platform will be integrated into Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare, unlocking new insights for precision medicine and clinical analytics from the world’s largest de-identified health dataset. Truveta’s data platform will empower clinicians and researchers to find new therapies and treatments. Together, our partnership will help advance global health outcomes for all.

AI and machine learning (ML) play an important role in our ability to understand big data and learn from it. Text Analytics for health in Azure Cognitive Services, allows developers to process and extract insights from unstructured biomedical text, including various types of clinical notes, medical publications, electronic health records, clinical trial protocols, and more, expediting the ability to learn from this data and leverage it for secondary use. Kepro makes quality of care and medical necessity decisions to ensure patients receive the right care they need, as they need it, and in the location of their choosing. To perform these activities, health care providers and clinical support teams are required to manually review large case histories to search for specific words and phrases that span a range of medical documents, like electronic health records, medication lists, and discharge summaries. With Text Analytics for health, they were able to find key indicators in clinical documents instantly and then abstract and display all pertinent information to improve the speed and quality of our reviews. Kepro has improved both the speed, efficiency, and quality of its healthcare reviews. Using Text Analytics for health helps it continue to meet service level agreements and give clinical staff more time to conduct thorough healthcare quality analysis.

During our Microsoft Ignite session, I was also excited to hear about the great work at Carl Zeiss Meditec, Inc. who partnered with Microsoft to use Azure Healthcare APIs to help power the Zeiss medical ecosystem and allow for data to be standardized and exchanged between their centers across the world while leveraging Microsoft’s geo-support for data residency requirements. The ability to securely and quickly exchange medical imaging data in context with clinical data will help providers using Zeiss products give more personalized care to their patients. Combining Zeiss’s expertise in ocular technology with the power of Azure Healthcare APIs enables Zeiss to also develop new solutions and use AI-powered applications and tools.

The need for connected data and supporting our customer’s privacy, security and compliance journeys will continue to be at the forefront of importance of our engineered systems and tools. As an industry, healthcare has been under enormous pressure during the pandemic to keep their people, communities and patient’s data safe.  At Microsoft Ignite, we were excited to introduce another part of that commitment with Microsoft 365 Insider Risk Management and a new healthcare policy template that leverages data from Epic and other EMR solutions—using our Data Connectors—to help healthcare companies identify potential insider risks related to patient data misuse. You can learn more at Microsoft Ignite session BRK241: Manage risk and compliance with end-to-end security solutions and our Insider Risk Management blog.

We also can’t forget how COVID-19 has impacted the future of the healthcare industry in an unprecedented way. In many ways, it has raised the bar on what we need to collectively deliver as an industry in the next era of healthcare. I want to thank the frontline healthcare workers, researchers, technologists, Microsoft partners, and other industry leaders who helped provide guidance on how we can best help the industry on its digital path forward. We believe to reimagine a new era of healthcare organizations need the agility to respond rapidly and predict what’s next, and that requires a new collective approach to providing better experiences, insights, and care for today and well into the future.

You can learn more about Microsoft and healthcare during these Microsoft Ignite sessions:

BK230: Get long-term benefit from health data with Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare

Ask the Experts: Get long-term benefits from health data with Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare

Customer Tech Talks: St. Luke’s University Healthcare Network