Johns Hopkins and Microsoft to improve critical care in hospitals

Rebecca Gibson
Rebecca Gibson
By Rebecca Gibson on 20 October 2015
Johns Hopkins and Microsoft to improve critical care in hospitals

US-based Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine has joined with Microsoft to better connect medical devices in intensive care units and significantly improve patient care using data analytics.

Together, the organisations will develop an IT solution that collects data from different health monitoring equipment to prevent the most common causes of avoidable complications and injuries – such as blood clots and pneumonia – that can arise during medical care.

Based on Johns Hopkins’ Project Emerge, the new solution will scale previously developed workflow and care concepts into an integrated system for patients, families and care teams. The cloud-based solution will use Microsoft Azure compute, storage, analytics and internet of things technologies to connect disparate devices and sensors, capture and analyse data, and develop actionable insights for healthcare providers.

Physicians will also be able to use the solution to track trends in a patient’s care from one centralised location and access critical information via any hospital-approved Windows device.

“Today’s intensive care patient room contains anywhere from 50 to 100 pieces of medical equipment developed by different manufacturers that rarely talk to one another,” says Peter Pronovost, senior vice president of patient safety and quality for Johns Hopkins Medicine and director of the Armstrong Institute. “We are excited to collaborate with Microsoft to bring interoperability to these medical devices, to fully realise the benefits of technology and provide better care to our patients and their families.”

Johns Hopkins and Microsoft plan to scale the project quickly, with pilot projects estimated to begin in 2016.

“Our mutual goal is to deliver Project Emerge to health organisations across the country and transform the way care is delivered by arming health professionals with the right information, at the right time,” said Michael Robinson, vice president of US Health and Life Sciences at Microsoft, in a blog post. “By combining our leading expertise, John Hopkins and Microsoft hope to capture the immense opportunity to transform intensive care, and dramatically reduce the estimated 400,000 lives lost each year from preventable harms.”

Earlier this year, Microsoft became a sponsor of FastForward, Johns Hopkins’ new business incubator designed to accelerate product development for health IT start ups. Johns Hopkins also recently joined Microsoft’s Partner Network, which provides enhanced services to the university.

“Collaborating with Microsoft on multiple fronts will provide mutually beneficial opportunities that can change the face of the health information technology landscape,” said Christy Wyskiel, senior advisor to the president of The Johns Hopkins University and head of Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures. “I look forward to harnessing these opportunities and seeing many positive outcomes from our relationship.”

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