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Microsoft eyes patient engagement, emerging care scenarios for HIMSS16

The software giant is working to tie together products including Skype, Windows, Office, Surface Hub and Band to connect doctors with patients.
By Tom Sullivan
03:53 PM
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Microsoft has been building health-centric features into its stable of products and heading into HIMSS16 is also hoping to tap into the show’s overarching trends: patient engagement, telehealth and wearables.

Acknowledging that Microsoft has historically been known as the Windows and Office company, Microsoft communications manager Greg Ormsby said the company is looking to build on those platforms in healthcare.

"What’s changing are the emerging care scenarios," Ormsby said. "We’re looking to augment that shift."

See all of our HIMSS16 previews

At the upcoming HIMSS16, for instance, Ormsby said Team Redmond will be showcasing demonstrations of a partnership that will see MDLive using Skype for Business to conduct telehealth consults between doctors and patients as well as physicians and specialists.

That’s one example. Ormsby said that Microsoft is set to release the Surface Hub this quarter and that collaboration tool will be a key piece of the company’s aim to "transform the hospital room."

"Patient engagement really rests on helping doctors do their jobs more efficiently so they can help patients during the visit," Ormsby said.

On the back end, Microsoft is girding to make the doctor’s experience with any EHR fluid so they can take notes, change apps naturally within a tablet, PC or phone, and access information they need in what Ormsby said should be an unburdensome way.

[What healthcare organizations need to know about Windows 10 and Office 16.] 

And while much work remains, by Microsoft and other wearable providers, to determine how endpoint devices can be integrated with healthcare organizations other data sources, Ormsby said Microsoft is seeing partners and customers looking into use cases, such as chronic care — and the devices evolving as well. 

"Microsoft Band is a fitness and wellness wearable, we target that stay-fit crowd," Ormsby said.  "But one would argue it has the ability to do a lot, like a mobile health app — but that’s to be determined still."

Microsoft will be in booth 3832.

Twitter: @SullyHIT