Microsoft to adapt its cloud software for the healthcare industry

ARCHIVE PHOTO: A Microsoft logo is seen next to a cloud in Los Angeles, California, USA, on June 14, 2016. REUTERS / Lucy Nicholson / File Photo

(Reuters) – Microsoft announced on Tuesday that it plans to release a version of its cloud-based software that will be modified to meet the needs of healthcare organizations.

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Although Microsoft is known for general productivity software, such as Outlook and the Teams chat application, it also makes more specialized commercial software, such as programs used by customer service agents and artificial intelligence tools than developers. software can use to create chat bots.

Microsoft said it would bring all of its technologies together in a package called "Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare". The system will allow hospitals to maintain data during an interaction with a patient.

For example, a patient can first visit a healthcare organization's patient portal website. The initial questions would be answered by a chatbot programmed by healthcare professionals, but then forwarded to a service agent who could ask more questions and schedule a virtual visit with a nurse or doctor. This visit could be done through Microsoft Teams video chat.

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If the patient comes to a clinic in person for a follow-up appointment, all data from previous interactions will be available to the healthcare professional who assists them.

"We want to take all this information through the health experience," Deb Cupp, corporate vice president for Microsoft's business and commercial industries, told Reuters.

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Microsoft also said it plans to make the system work with software providers for electronic health records, such as Allscripts Healthcare Solutions Inc.

Microsoft said it plans to offer the healthcare system as a free trial in the next six months. He also plans more industry-specific cloud software offerings in the future, but did not say which sectors he plans to target.

Stephen Nellis reporting in San Francisco; edition by Richard Pullin

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