Healthcare NExT is a new initiative from Microsoft aimed at transforming the healthcare sector by leveraging its existing AI work and Azure cloud resources. Specifically, by collaborating with existing healthcare players that augment existing Microsoft Research and AI units. To facilitate this, Microsoft is integrating robots, voice recognition, and cognitive services into new collaborative healthcare applications. This will enable medical provider to offer personalised and instant access to medical records, ultimately helping them reduce data entry efforts, triage sick patients more efficiently, and automate outpatient care.
The first research partnership for Microsoft’s Healthcare NExT initiative is with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, one of the largest healthcare delivery networks in the US.
Additional collaborations from Healthcare NExT include partners applying the cloud, AI and research to some of the biggest problems in healthcare:
- HealthVault Insights: A new research-based project designed to allow partners to generate insights about patient health, drive adherence to care plans and encourage patient engagement, powered by the latest scientific advances in machine learning.
- Microsoft Genomics is making the ‘sample-to-answer’ process (a gene testing methodology) faster and easier through an Azure-powered genome analysis pipeline.
- Microsoft’s AI health chatbot will enable third party software developers to build AI-powered conversational healthcare tools.
- Project InnerEye is another research-based, AI-powered software tool for radiotherapy planning. The goal of InnerEye is to allow dosimetrists and radiation oncologists to achieve 3D contouring of patient’s planning scans in minutes rather than hours.
Microsoft is also incorporating its Skype for Business service into a series of “virtual health templates” for Office 365, this feature is among several new releases made in conjunction with the Healthcare NExT initiative.