Microsoft announces new systems/apps for healthcare

Microsoft today has just announced Amalga Unified Intelligence System (UIS) 2009. The system can be used to aggregate patient healthcare data from existing systems to make the data easily accessible for both professionals and patients via Microsoft’s HealthVault technology (HealthVault was firstly announced in 2007).

The new version includes many new features, including added plugins and IT tools that will lower the total cost of ownership, according to Microsoft.

Microsoft today also unveiled new prototypes of applications aimed at assimilating health care patient data on Microsoft Surface tables. Thirteen hospitals in the U.S. are currently testing the technology in a live environment.

There are various included applications that allow doctors to easily access records, utilize images and video to help in better explaining information to patients. With the multi-touch technology, more than one person can use the device at the same time. Doctors can easily zoom, change sizes, and rotate photos.

Microsoft Surface also features the ‘vision system’ that can identify objects placed on the surface of the display. As an interesting side note, Sony recently filed for a printer patent that uses similar technology as the Microsoft Surface vision system, where gadgets placed on the surface of the Sony printer are identified, allowing the user to print directly from supported devices.

A new app in Microsoft Surface for health care lets doctors know the number of beds available, the status of pending laboratory results (with alerts), the number of patients arriving and with what type of emergency, among other useful information for emergency physicians. Another app includes a patient scheduling and check-in system.

Developers can also create their own applications. Microsoft Surface has a lot of potential given the openness that allows anyone to create applications. For example, Vectorform Inc. created the app below that lets rehabilitation professionals make their own apps to help in the rehabilitation of patients. Games can also be created that could be used in children’s hospitals.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer recently noted health care as a market of significant potential for Microsoft in terms of generating revenue.

Last week, a NY-based hospital firstly teamed up with Microsoft to digitize its patient health records with Amalga, and to make the records available online to patients and other health care providers via Microsoft’s HealthVault technology. Given the market potential of digitizing medical records, Microsoft is striving to firstly penetrate the market with its new technology.

Other companies, including Google and IBM, among others, also see the market potential and are not sitting around. Google and IBM announced an agreement in February 2009 to help migrate data from monitoring devices such as glucose meters to data files on Google Health that can easily be shared.

President Obama strongly supports the digitization of health care records and is continuing his campaign promise of pushing to digitize health care records in the U.S.


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Hercules holds a B.Comm Finance from Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) level 3 candidate. He was previously a contributor at FiLife, a finance website owned by Dow Jones and IAC. Write to hercules@business2press.com
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  • bolli

    that's one expensive table!

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