Microsoft brings two significant players on board to further transform healthcare
Microsoft has recently revealed that it is set to approach the growing complexities across the healthcare industry through and advance its position with the appointment of two key figures to Microsoft Healthcare.
Responsible for driving innovation and accelerating new health initiatives Jim Weinstein has been appointed to Vice President, Head of Innovation and Health Equity. Joshua Mandel will also become Chief Architect at Microsoft Healthcare.
Exploring technologies, such as artificial intelligence and cloud computing through its Healthcare NExT (New Experiences and Technologies) initiatives, Microsoft Health will continue to build new tools and solutions to empower clinical staff and enhance the patient experience.
Weinstein will work alongside Peter Lee, Corporate Vice President for Microsoft Healthcare, to drive the company’s strategic vision.
“Weinstein is a widely respected visionary, author, surgeon and leader in the future of healthcare delivery who has advised three administrations on healthcare policy,” Lee has said.
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Driving communication and collaboration with partners and customers, Mandel will work to build Microsoft’s open cloud architecture. With a background, both as a physician and software architect, and with past roles at Verily (under Google), Mandel will “develop next-generation standards for healthcare data interoperability,” Lee has stated.
“Jim and Josh join us at an exciting time, as healthcare processes undergo a digital transformation. This transformation has created a wealth of healthcare data that has potential to help identify diseases earlier, create and improve treatments and improve the lives of patients across the globe.
“At Microsoft, we’re confident that many aspects of the IT foundations for healthcare will move from on-premise doctors’ offices and clinics to live in the cloud.”
Developing a new cloud architecture will support clinical teams and encourage secure data sharing, providing a seamless, connected experience and ensuring positive patient outcomes. It will also work to support researchers to develop new drugs, in compliance with all regulatory standards.
Whilst Microsoft continues to invest in a number of digital health projects, such as Microsoft Genomics, its partnership with Great Ormond Street, London, as well as Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) and Adaptive Biotechnologies as part of its NExT initiative, Google has placed significant investment in healthcare through its subsidiaries DeepMind, Verily and Calico.
Zoom enters the healthcare market - a timeline
Since the pandemic began Zoom has become an integral part of daily life for people working from home, as well as a vital tool for families and friends to communicate. However it's also been eyeing up the healthcare space since 2017, and following the boom in telehealth the company has been rolling out additional services. Here we chart Zoom's move into healthcare.
2011 - 2013
Zoom is founded in San Jose, California, by Eric Yuan, formerly of Cisco. He got the idea to create a video calling platform from his visits to his girlfriend while he was a student, which would take 10 hours by train.
A beta version is released in 2012, which can host up to 15 participants. In 2013 this rises to 25. By mid-2013, Zoom has 1 million users.
2014 - 2017
Zoom attracts investors, including Sequoia Capital, Emergence and Horizon Ventures. By January 2017, Zoom has a series D funding worth $100 million.
2017 - 2019
Zoom for Telehealth launches, including an integration with EHR system Epic. It has cloud-based video, audio, and content sharing features, a "waiting room" for patients, and can easily be integrated into healthcare provider's workflows.
In 2019 Zoom goes public, with its IPO rising 72% in one day.
As a result of the pandemic, Zoom gains 2.2 million new users, more than in the whole of 2019. On the 23rd of March alone - the day the UK lockdown was announced - the platform was downloaded 2.13 million times around the world.
Share prices rise to around $150, and founder and chief executive Eric Yuan becomes one of the world's richest people, with an estimated net worth of $7.9 billion.
Early security issues are addressed by encrypting data with the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES). By now the the platform allows 99 people to be on a call simultaneously
New features launch, including Zoom Home and Zoom for Chats. Throughout the year the platform is used to replace most kinds of real life events: work meetings, online classrooms, church services and social events.
Renamed Zoom for Healthcare, users can share secured video, audio, and content through desktops, mobile phones, and conference devices. As well as Epic, it can be integrated with Strmr, IntakeQ, and Practice Better.
It can also be used with diagnostic cameras and other point-of-care devices, including digital stethoscopes.
In an interview with Korea Biomedical Review, Zoom Global Healthcare Lead Ron Emerson said: "Our service is not simply a virtual care and telemedicine platform but a multi-purpose platform that can satisfy the needs of healthcare institutions."
"It can be used for administrative tasks, including telemedicine, medical team meetings, recruitment, medical education, employee training, and disease prevention. Analysing electronic records managed by Zoom could provide meaningful insights into patient care."
Phoenix Children's Hospital, Belfast's Hospital Services Limited, Butler Health Services and the global Project ECHO are among Zoom for Healthcare's current customers.