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Imagine this scene. You’re back in the 60s. You turn up at your local bank to get some cash. Standing outside is a well-known comedian pulling a ten pound note out of a slot in the wall. “That will never catch on,” you mutter under your breath as you enter the bank, join the queue, and eventually present a check to a cashier.

A few months later, you need some cash in a hurry. You turn up at the nearest bank, and it’s closed. But it doesn’t matter. You use the ATM.

What you were witnessing back in the 60’s was the “ATM moment,” launched by Reg Varney at a Barclay’s Bank in Enfield, England. Within a couple of years, it became the normal way to take out cash.

People liked it because it was convenient, and gave th m control over something they cared about – their money.

I’m Paul Thomas, a Digital Advisor in Microsoft UK. I focus on using digital technologies to radically transform the experience of healthcare for citizens, patients, and professionals. I’ve often thought about ATMs and how quickly that technology transformed the way we interact with our money.

What we need is an “ATM moment” in healthcare. Imagine if your experience of accessing healthcare was like your ATM. You’re on holiday, and unfortunately, you have an accident. You arrive at a hospital that you’ve never visited before, but it doesn’t matter. They know all about you from your personal health record.

My ATM moment comes when I own my own health data in a personal health record. I bring it along in every encounter with health and care. I can fill in the gaps left between their record of my life, and my own. I share my health data with a growing army of apps and machine learning driven intelligence. I get insights and maybe avoid, or at least delay, some of the complications of aging.

Microsoft HealthVault is a personal Health record platform that runs on Azure cloud services. It uses machine learning to generate insights to help you manage your health. It’s already in use in the UK for conditions such as epilepsy. And, it’s at the heart of the UK child health records known as “Red Book.”couple sitting

Creating an ATM moment is no more important than in social care, with the aging population presenting one of the greatest societal challenges of our time. Microsoft Digital Advisory Services has been working with Kent County Council to create their own ATM moment in social care, transforming the experience for residents such as Shirley and Malcom, pictured here.

Fifty years on from the “ATM moment,” there are three million ATM’s worldwide, from many different manufacturers all working together. You can go to any bank’s machine and get your money out, anywhere in the world. I have the same vision for healthcare.