Technology Record - Issue 33: Summer 2024

124 VIEWPOINT Using the cloud to streamline healthcare and life sciences AUGUSTIN NOLTE: MICROSOFT Microsoft Azure and Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare are enabling organisations to deliver personalised and faster healthcare services, while also prioritising security and compliance “ Cloud technologies are helping pave the way for more personalised healthcare, productive workers and better security for patient data” With lives on the line, healthcare and life sciences organisations are continually seeking ways to enhance operational efficiency. Relentlessly pushing the boundaries of healthcare, these firms are embracing digital transformation and technologies built in the cloud to make operations more productive and secure. Using data to improve healthcare offerings Telemedicine is transforming healthcare by enabling professionals to provide care to patients remotely. Remote patient monitoring systems use the internet of things (IoT) to streamline the collection of patient data outside of the traditional healthcare setting. These technologies save patients from unnecessary trips to healthcare facilities while freeing up providers to care for more patients. For example, healthcare providers can collect data from sensors embedded in medical devices worn by patients and use cloud-based systems to analyse that data to enhance the speed and quality of care they receive. IoT has led to the development of ‘smart labs’ too, which provide real-time monitoring with measurement tools in laboratories. These lab environments are often used for clinical trials to develop new treatments. Managing trials can be time-consuming and complex but cloud-based systems streamline the process by centralising clinical data, making collaboration easier while accelerating time to insights. The ability to extract insights from mountains of stored clinical data helps clinicians to quickly spot trends in disease outbreaks and predict which patients are at higher risk of illness. On the business side, this data can be used to increase productivity, optimise the allocation of clinical resources and reduce costs. Artificial intelligence is enabling new approaches to remote patient monitoring and telemedicine too. For example, Nuance Dragon Ambient eXperience (DAX), which is powered by Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare, uses AI to automatically document patient encounters accurately and efficiently at the point of care. According to Nuance, DAX Copilot “turns physicians’ words into a powerful productivity tool”, enabling healthcare providers to spend less time writing up clinical notes and more