Medical practitioners including nurses and doctors go through many hassles in providing patient care. In recognition of this challenge, Microsoft intends to utilize technology to streamline things for them. It recently unveiled an array of new artificial intelligence and cloud technologies as a segment of its Healthcare NExT program. As such, the program aims at aiding healthcare providers to spearhead a technological evolution in the sector.
Microsoft unveiled its four new projects including Microsoft Genomics, a platform designed to power personalized medicine and genetics analysis. The others include Azure cloud blueprint, Empower MD, an AI platform for helping doctors by listening and learning from their talks with patients and a new template for Microsoft Teams specifically made for healthcare providers.
As proof of concept, Microsoft in conjunction with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) developed the AI scribe. It analyzes the conversation between doctors and patients before making suggestions in the electronic health record belonging to the patient. The application allows doctors to commit their complete attention to patients during an examination process. In turn, they can check the electronic health record to approve the suggestions made by the scribe such as notes detailing future treatment.
With rival companies like Apple, Google, Amazon and an increasing number of startups, Microsoft makes up just one of the few tech giants releasing new initiatives in health technology. A Seattle-based startup, SayKara, is also making an AI scribe similar to the one released recently by Microsoft. The head of Healthcare NExT initiative and corporate VP at Microsoft Research, Peter Lee, said that the new projects are mainly focused on enhancing care in clinics and hospitals. In addition, Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform acts as the pillar of all the company’s new projects.
KenSci is a Seattle-based startup, which utilizes machine learning to forecast things such as patient death. The startup represents one of the companies that are currently utilizing the new template to shift data to Azure. Recently, Microsoft collaborated with a Seattle-based biotech company, Adaptive Biotechnology, to use machine learning and Azure cloud computing to create a test that can scan the immune system in a bid to diagnose diseases.
During Microsoft’s partnership with UPMC to create the AI scribe, Lee asserted that the company plans to allow its partners and other innovators to carry out the rest of the development to develop future applications.
Microsoft Genomics operates as an Azure-based service that offers researchers and providers tools not only to store but also to analyze genetic information. Genomics has proven to be increasingly vital in healthcare judging from the use of genetic data to diagnose diseases and create personalized treatments.
All these new projects by Microsoft, accentuate not only the company’s focus on healthcare but also its increasing expertise and reach in the area. Other companies are also pursuing healthcare initiatives. In fact, Apple is currently launching clinics specifically for employees. Furthermore, Amazon appears to be experimenting with medical and pharmacy supply services as well as venturing into a new undertaking with JPMorgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway.