Mar 2, 2021

What does Microsoft's updated Cloud for Healthcare offer?

Cloud Computing
remote patient monitoring
virtual clinic
Leila Hawkins
3 min
What does Microsoft's updated Cloud for Healthcare offer?
Tom McGuinness, CVP for Global Healthcare at Microsoft, tells us about the tech giant's updated cloud solution designed specifically for healthcare...

Microsoft has announced a number of new industry-specific cloud offerings, among them an updated version of its cloud for healthcare. This will include support in eight new languages and new features for virtual health, remote patient monitoring, care coordination, and patient self-service.

The new capabilities have been created in response to the increased need for digital tools that aid collaboration and efficiency following a year of disruptions due to the pandemic. 

"These enhanced features support healthcare customers with remote patient monitoring, helping to coordinate care across both health teams and patients, streamline virtual health processes that enable self-scheduling of virtual visits, and better guide home health patient care teams with task assignments and care plan templates" McGuinness explains. 

New functionalities

In terms of of remote patient monitoring, it will enable healthcare providers to quickly manage and collect data from devices given to a patient, whether wearable or not. Supporting organisations to provide preventative and proactive care to patients with chronic conditions such as diabetes, helps to reduce the cost of care, as well as increase operational efficiency.

The new care management features help managers develop, monitor and follow-through on patient care plans. "Tracking activities and goals within the care plan can be shared across the clinical team, as well as sharing goals, files, and timelines directly to the patient through their health system portal" McGuinness says. 

It also offers either pre-defined or customisable templates and virtual assistants so that care coordinators can create and monitor clinical events. They can also schedule patient virtual visits through the Bookings App, and set automatic queues for upcoming patient appointments. 

Meanwhile the patients can pre-select either in-person or virtual visits across the care system. "Setting clear patient care plans keeps your care teams aligned and allows for each team to see the big picture along the care journey" McGuinness says. "It can help enhance care team effectiveness by setting an environment for coordination and care collaboration. Combined care teams can interact with patients more efficiently and simplify care planning workflows."

Empowering the patient

Last but not least, the virtual clinic allows care teams to book and join Teams virtual visits from the patient portal. This gives clinicians a holistic view without having to bounce between multiple systems to gather relevant information during a virtual visit. "These new features save the clinicians time, improve workflow efficiency, and create a seamless patient experience" McGuinness adds. 

 The pandemic has highlighted the benefits of patients taking ownership of their care. "Healthcare systems and providers across the world are under pressure to create a future where patients are engaged in their own healthcare" McGuiness says. 

"Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare will support healthcare organisations to engage in more proactive ways with patients, streamline communications, enhance care coordination, and improve health team efficiency and productivity. Patients can have secure access to care information and care management on more devices than before, giving them more opportunity to interact with their care team and be more proactive in their ongoing health and wellness."

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Jun 24, 2021

Jvion launches AI-powered map to tackle mental health crisis

2 min
Jvion's new interactive map uses AI to predict areas most vulnerable to poor mental health

Clinical AI company Jvion has launched an interactive map  of the US that highlights areas that are most vulnerable to poor mental health. 

The Behavioral Health Vulnerability Map uses Jvion's AI CORE™ software to analyse public data on social determinants of health (SDOH)  and determine the vulnerability of every US Census block group. 

Vulnerability refers to the likelihood that residents will experience issues like self-harm, suicide attempts or overdoses. The map also identifies the most influential social determinants in each region, to show the social and environmental conditions that contribute to mental illness. 

As an example, the map shows that Harrison County in Mississippi has a 50% higher suicide rate than the rest of the state. It also shows a high percentage of individuals in the armed forces at a time when active duty suicides are at a six-year high, along with a high prevalence of coronary artery disease, arthritis, and COPD, all chronic illnesses that are linked to a higher suicide risk.  

The map also shows Harrison County has a high percentage of Vietnamese Americans, who studies suggest have high rates of depression and may be less likely to seek help from mental health professionals. 

The map was built using the same data and analytics that Jvion used to create the COVID Community Vulnerability Map, which was launched towards the start of the pandemic. 

With this new map, Jvion is aiming to tackle the growing mental health crisis in the US. “At a time when so many Americans are struggling with their mental health, we’re proud to offer a tool that can help direct treatment resources to the communities that need it most,” said Dr John Showalter, MD, Jvion’s chief product officer, who led the development of the map. 

“For too long, the healthcare industry has struggled to address social determinants of health, particularly in the context of behavioural health. Our hope is that by surfacing the social and environmental vulnerabilities of America’s communities, we can better coordinate our response to the underlying conditions that impact the health and wellbeing of people everywhere.” 

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