Microsoft bolsters healthcare innovation team with two industry veteransFrom left, Peter Lee, Joshua Mandel and Jim Weinstein of Microsoft Healthcare. Image: Dan DeLong for Microsoft

Microsoft is looking to expand its efforts to innovate in the healthcare industry, and it has brought on two industry veterans to steer the ship. The company announced this week that Jim Weinstein and Joshua Mandel will head up Microsoft Healthcare as the team's Vice President and Chief Architect, respectively.

Weinstein was most recently the CEO and president of Dartmouth-Hitchcock and the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health system. Weinstein will be responsible for working with healthcare organizations and developing the overall strategic vision for Microsoft Healthcare.

Meanwhile, Mandel is a physician and software architect who most recently spent time leading the health IT ecosystem at Google's health initiative, Verily. Microsoft calls Mandel "a tireless evangelist for the importance of open standards," and he'll be working with the open standards community to establish the cloud architecture behind Microsoft Health.

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Microsoft Health will bring together the company's Healthcare NExt initiative with the company's research efforts. The goal, Microsoft says, is to work on innovations for the healthcare industry through AI and cloud computing.

In a blog post, Corporate Vice President of Microsoft Healthcare says:

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. We ask the questions: Can we take advantage of this huge sea change in healthcare to unlock the innovation potential in healthcare data? Can we work as a community to ensure that we don't simply re-create the same data silos that we have today?

So far, Microsoft has established a "blueprint" to standardize compliance and privacy of patient health information in the cloud. But going forward, Microsoft Healthcare will be focusing on moving toward an open architecture that drives new research initiatives and helps care providers more effectively interact with patients.

Microsoft promises it will have more to share later this year concerning its healthcare efforts.

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