Technology has aided most industries across the years, but one that has seen particular benefit in recent times is healthcare. As providers look to modernize, Microsoft is serving them with a series of improvements, including ones that could help in the treatment of coronavirus.
In a recent blog post, the company laid down several features and improvements it's bringing to care teams, but the stand out addition is in Microsoft 365. In the coming weeks, care teams will be able to “schedule, manage, and conduct virtual visits” via Teams video calling.
With doctors increasingly encouraged to assess coronavirus patients remotely, this doesn't seem like a coincidence. Microsoft is additionally giving away free Teams premium features to users working from home and donated to several charities.
New features will also let clinicians target Teams' messages to recipients based on the shift they're working, and can perform the CSF compliance assessment in Microsoft Compliance Score.
Outside of Microsoft 365, the features have less direct implications for CORVID-19 treatment. The company announced launch of the Microsoft Healthcare Bot, however, which could take the load off clinicians in times of high stress. The HITRUST certified AI lets providers provide symptom checking in up to 17 languages.
Finally, the company is addressing the importance of keeping healthcare information private. It highlighted Azure Sphere, a solution for IoT devices that is now generally available. With it, admins can “securely personalize patient experiences with connected devices and solutions”.
“Frictionless exchange of health information in FHIR makes it easier for researchers and clinicians to collaborate, innovate and improve patient care,” said several Microsoft CVP's in a blog post. “As we move forward working with our customers and partners and others across the health ecosystem, Microsoft is committed to enabling and improving interoperability and required standards to make it easier for patients to manage their healthcare and control their information.”
The commitment is particularly relevant as the EU's privacy watchdog raises concerns over Google's Fitbit acquisition, which would give access to data from 28 million users. The search giant promises the data won't be used in its Nightingale project to gather healthcare data but is yet to fully assuage concerns that user's exercise and heart rate data will be safe.
As some researchers suggest a coronavirus pandemic is likely, offerings like Microsoft's, coupled with data security, could prove even more vital.