Technology Record - Issue 28: Spring 2023

159 pressing questions about Covid-19 received individualised guidance through artificial intelligence-based chatbot technology.” However, the pandemic also shone a spotlight on existing health disparities. Older individuals, those with multiple medical conditions and those living in underserved communities experienced higher mortality rates. Moreover, the ability to access broadband and use the internet impacted people’s ability to find and receive Covid-19 vaccinations. “As technology becomes an essential tool for delivering healthcare services to patients, we must continue to evaluate and address systemic and individual barriers to technology adoption, especially in the vulnerable and underserved communities,” says Rhew. Every cloud has a silver lining Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare could be a key solution for delivering better, more efficient and more equitable healthcare services. “Some of the best experiences and outcomes are possible when we deeply understand an individual,” says Rhew. “To do this effectively in healthcare, we need to extract data from different – often siloed – systems of record, analyse the data to draw actionable insights, and act upon those insights in a coordinated manner.” Microsoft offers platforms and technologies that comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). They can improve data ingestion through application programming interfaces, analyse data using AI and machine learning in Microsoft Azure, support data coordination with Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Modern Workplace solutions such as Teams, and provide data visualisation tools on Power Platform. Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare also enables Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR)-compliant data to flow seamlessly between Microsoft and third-party technologies and platforms. These solutions have been put into practice to help healthcare providers get back on track. For example, after seeing significant reduction in the number of routine cancer screenings and vaccination appointments during the pandemic, Ohio medical centre Cleveland Clinic used Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare to identify eligible patients, engage them through a marketing-style campaign and schedule their appointments. “The results demonstrated dramatically improved rates of scheduled appointments and completed procedures,” says Rhew. “Given the importance of these screening exams and preventative care interventions, this technology-led intervention likely saved lives.” The detail is in the data Like all industries, healthcare trends change in reaction to factors affecting the wider world. HEALTHCARE Microsoft helped to increase Covid-19 vaccination rates in vulnerable US communities through its involvement in the Health Equity Consortium Photo: unsplash/cdc