In a blog post, the tech stock unveiled Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare, which will help healthcare organizations improve patient engagement, enhance collaboration between medical teams, and improve the insights from clinical data.
"We know that technology has a role to play in accelerating progress for solutions to the pandemic and other pressing healthcare concerns and challenges," wrote Tom McGuinness and Gregory Moore, two corporate vice presidents in Microsoft's health units. "Looking ahead, we expect to see healthcare organizations continue to use newly implemented technology tools throughout the recovery period and into the new normal."
On the patient engagement front, the new cloud offering will allow healthcare providers to create care plans for patients and enable them to send content to any devices patients use. Medical facilities will be able to host secure virtual visits, utilize chatbots for assessments, and remotely monitor patient health. Since March, when the pandemic began spreading in the U.S. and around the world, more than 1,600 COVID-19 bots based on Microsoft's Healthcare Bot Service went live, interacting with 31 million people in 23 countries.
In terms of enabling collaboration between healthcare teams, Microsoft is building capabilities into Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Teams that will allow healthcare providers to access a secure platform to coordinate patient care. It also added a bookings app within Teams to make it easy for healthcare providers to schedule and manage virtual care visits.
It makes sense Microsoft would first focus on healthcare for its industry-specific cloud offerings. The COVID-19 pandemic is changing the way we interact, including with medical professionals. Microsoft didn't say which industries it will target next.