Microsoft launches new healthcare tools powered by AI and Azure

As Microsoft looks to further expand its efforts in AI and the cloud, the company has placed a particular focus on the healthcare industry. Just over a year ago, Microsoft launched Healthcare NExT, which it describes as an effort focused on transforming healthcare through a fusion of research, AI, and industry expertise. Now, the company is bolstering that effort with a suite of new AI and cloud projects, tools, and enhancements aimed at healthcare providers.

Microsoft is targeting six areas, including efforts to help healthcare organizations move to the cloud and the launch of Microsoft Genomics into general availability. Here's a look:

  • Microsoft Genomics: The general availability on Microsoft Azure, providing researchers and clinicians with highly accelerated, cloud-powered genomic processing services. The flagship partner for this launch is St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
  • Microsoft Azure Security and Compliance Blueprint: HIPAA/HITRUST – Health Data & AI: The general availability of an end-to-end application development foundation to help health organizations move to the cloud with greater simplicity, compliance, security and industry-standard compatibility.
  • AI Network for Healthcare: An expansion of the Microsoft Intelligent Network for Eyecare, now AI Network for Healthcare, to create an AI-focused network in cardiology, in partnership with one of the largest health systems in India, Apollo Hospitals.
  • Microsoft 365 Huddle Solution Templates: The publication of new developer templates that extend Microsoft Teams, so health teams can benefit from state-of-the-art collaboration tools to drive quality and care outcomes in Microsoft 365.
  • Project Empower MD: Project EmpowerMD, a research collaboration with UPMC, will create a system that listens and learns from what doctors say and do, to dramatically reduce the burden of note-taking for physicians.
  • Project InnerEye: Announcing new integrations with TeraRecon and Intuitive Surgical.

Tech companies are increasingly eyeing healthcare as one of the areas where modern technology advancements can have a major impact. As healthcare experts look to manage the vast amounts of data streaming in from advances in from areas like genomics and medical imaging, Microsoft's Peter Lee, CVP of Microsoft AI and Research, says there is a prime opportunity for the cloud and AI to make a difference.

Providing cloud- and AI-powered tools will unlock the vast potential at these points of convergence. It's why our focus is threefold: developing foundations for precision health care, enabling the health industry's move to the cloud, and empowering the people that make healthcare work.

These announcements come just ahead of next week's Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) conference, where Microsoft will be showing them off at its booth.

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