Friday February 17, 2017

Microsoft Returns to Healthcare With Technology

Microsoft tried and failed to compete in healthcare with General Electric as a partner. Microsoft has decided that it is once again bringing back it's prowess with artificial-intelligence and cloud services to the healthcare system. Rather than compete this time, Microsoft is ready to partner with companies. Healthcare NExT is the collaboration between existing industry players and MIcrosoft to facilitate the taking in of triage patients more efficiently, streamlined data entry, and ease of outpatient care. Microsoft's expertise with speech and natural language recognition software could drastically reduce the workload on doctors as much of it is handwritten now. Microsoft has Bluetooth scales and exercise bands to assist patients with weight loss by connecting them directly to their doctors. Instead of building onto the existing healthcare system which relies on antiquated legacy systems, Microsoft wants to rebuild it from the center with technology in mind.

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Microsoft's Israel office has taken the company's chatbot technology to create a "triage bot" for digital health provider MDLIVE. In a demo, a Microsoft researcher tells the bot her leg hurts. She connects the bot to her personal health account where it finds her prescriptions and confirms she's taking birth control pills. It pulls up a picture of a leg and asks her to click where it hurts. The bot notes recent exercise from the researcher's wearable device, while a scan of her calendar spots a recent airplane trip. The system calculates there's a good chance she has a blood clot in her leg, and connects her to a nurse. It can also suggest doctors and answer insurance questions.

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