Microsoft is integrating robots, voice recognition, and cognitive services into its healthcare applications to offer deep personalization, conversational intelligence, and world knowledge to medical personnel and patients.
After introducing the personal health management service platform HealthVault, it has added two more services: Microsoft Health Bot and Microsoft StaffHub.
Microsoft StaffHub is a cloud-based platform that enables staff workers and their managers to manage time, communicate with their teams, and share content. Managerial staff such as doctors and head nurses can create schedules or projects to consolidate relevant members into a team.
Nurses and on-the-go staff member can view their upcoming schedules, swap a shift, or request time off. They can also communicate with other team members individually, in a small group, or across the entire team, view content, and take appropriate actions.
The Microsoft Health Bot, on the other hand, is a robot with conversational intelligence that can be tailored to unique patient scenarios and can easily integrate third-party endpoints like EMRs and patient portals.
It offers support for interactive diagnostic symptom checkers, layperson natural language, and multi-turn dialog with users, and it learns from previous interactions.
The information sources for conversational intelligence derives from HealthVault (which provides information on lab results, medications, and wearable data), Cortana (which enables access to deep patient knowledge in multiple areas), partner data sources, Bing (which provides local information, maps, and crowd search data), and CDC/WHO/NHS/NIH databases.
"Microsoft's HealthVault, Microsoft StaffHub, and Health Bot aim to incorporate AI into medical procedures and data management to analyze and optimize doctor-staff interactions, creating value-added applications,” said Microsoft Asia Healthcare Lead Danny Yeo.
With the premise of complying with international standards of information security, Microsoft's AI-related healthcare service is expected to elevate the quality of care and promote positive doctor-patient relationships.
The prevalence of AI facilitates the centralized management of data, enhances communication convenience and security, and ensures the stability of medical applications. Subsequently, problems that stem from inadequate human and financial resources in hospitals can be effectively mitigated by optimizing processes, reducing manual data entry, and conserving the time and labor costs required in physical data transmission.
Yeo cited a market report released by eMarketer in 2015 showing that 80 percent of the participants were willing to share their health data to improve medical care, 59 percent were willing to provide their health data for medical research, and 52 percent were willing to share their health data to obtain a reduction in insurance premium.
“These outcomes imply that patients are willing to provide their personal health data to hospitals or insurance companies if it benefits personal healthcare. The next step in the digital transformation of the healthcare industry is identifying and resolving challenges, establishing partnerships, proposing conceptual verification models, and executing pilot programs, thereby creating robust and refined medical services that satisfy patients' special needs,” he said.