Microsoft Details Updates to Its Healthcare Cloud, Including Regional Expansions

Microsoft recently described multiple new features coming to Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare, one of the new industry-specific cloud offerings that the tech giant launched within the last two years.

"Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare is continually expanding its ability to provide a unified approach that enables healthcare organizations to compete and grow through greater efficiency and improved patient and workforce experiences -- ultimately resulting in delivery of care faster, better, and at a lower cost," wrote Satish Thomas, head of Microsoft Industry Clouds, in a blog post earlier this month. "We are excited about how this series of updates builds on our strong foundation, and for our continued future investment in healthcare." 

Among the improvements Thomas described is the expansion of Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare to the following nine countries: Belgium, Brazil, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, New Zealand, the Philippines, Sweden and Switzerland.

He also highlighted two recently reported features: the launch of Azure Health Data Services and the public preview of the "Structuring to FHIR" feature in Azure Text Analytics for Health.

Other new improvements described by Thomas are as follows:

  • A new "unified patient view" standalone offering supports the creation of low-code solutions via Microsoft Power Apps.
  • Patient links, now generally available, enable patient record merging under the FHIR (Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources) standard.
  • Clinicians can launch virtual visits via Microsoft Teams integration with Cerner Electric Health Records (EHR).
  • Newly available virtual health data tables, in conjunction with Microsoft Dataverse, let organizations "virtualize their clinical reference data when using model-driven applications."
  • The Dataverse Health Data Exchange API will be available in May as a preview.
  • A preview of the Care Plan Activities Dashboard is now available to help clinicians better coordinate patient care activities.
  • Guided tours are now available in the Care Management tool.
  • New Azure Health Bot templates.
  • The new Azure Forms Recognizer feature lets patients upload photos of their medical forms ahead of an appointment, saving time at check-in.

About the Author

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

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