Microsoft's Healthcare Cloud Gets Data Management Boost

Microsoft on Tuesday previewed new data analytics capabilities that are purpose-built to help healthcare organizations make order out of their data chaos.

The new capabilities, announced at the HLTH 2023 conference taking place in Las Vegas, are coming to Microsoft Fabric, an advanced data analytics platform that Microsoft unveiled this past May at its Build developer event. At the time, Microsoft MVP and Redmond columnist Joey D'Antoni described Fabric as:

[A]n end-to-end platform that combines some of the best data tools Microsoft has and integrates them into a single software-as-a-service (SaaS) offering. Microsoft built Fabric around the data fabric concept -- a new wave in data analytics that blends many modern trends like data lakes, the delta store and parquet file formats, presented behind a standard set of APIs.

The healthcare-specific Fabric capabilities Microsoft announced Tuesday aim to remove the hurdles and inefficiencies that medical organizations face by having their data stored in different places, in different formats and from different devices. They're another piece of the broader Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare product, a conglomeration of Azure-based solutions that are aimed at the medical industry. Now in preview, the new Fabric features comprise:

  • Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) data ingestion
  • Relational FHIR data foundation
  • Enrich unstructured clinical notes
  • De-identifying clinical data for research and secondary uses
  • Observational Medical Outcomes Partnership (OMOP) analytics
  • Patient Outreach analytics
  • Data governance with Microsoft Purview

Together, according to Microsoft industry chief Alysa Taylor, these features promise to "eliminate the costly, time-consuming process of stitching together a complex set of disconnected, multimodal health data sources -- text, images, video, etc. -- and provides a secure and governed way for organizations to access, analyze and visualize data-driven insights across their organization."

Microsoft cites a number of early adopters of the above preview capabilities, including Northwestern Medicine, Arthur Health and SingHealth.

More details about the Microsoft Fabric healthcare capabilities hitting preview this week are in this blog post.      

About the Author

Gladys Rama (@GladysRama3) is the editorial director of Converge360.

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