Microsoft announces new AI tools to help doctors deliver better care

Microsoft is revolutionizing the health-care industry with its latest data and artificial intelligence (AI) products. The tech giant announced new tools at the HLTH conference in Las Vegas that aim to help health-care organizations access and learn from the vast amount of information collected by doctors and hospitals.

The health care and life sciences industry generates more than 30% of all global data, according to a recent report from Deloitte. However, leveraging this information can be challenging due to its storage across various systems and formats. Shockingly, around 97% of data generated by hospitals remains unused. Microsoft aims to address this issue by developing health-care-specific tools in Fabric, a data and analytics platform announced in May.

Fabric can combine data from sources such as electronic health records, lab systems, medical devices, and claims systems, allowing organizations to standardize and access it in one place. This eliminates the time-consuming process of searching through multiple sources individually. Microsoft has been trialing Fabric for health care with select customers, including Northwestern Medicine, Arthur Health, and SingHealth. The platform is now available in a preview capacity.

Doug King, the chief information officer at Northwestern Medicine, expressed excitement about the potential of Microsoft’s technology. Consolidating disparate data will ultimately help health systems improve care and see more patients. King believes that data is now king within health care, and Microsoft’s tools will revolutionize the industry by changing the way patients are cared for and problems are solved.

Microsoft also introduced new tools within its Azure AI services for health-care organizations. One of these tools is the Azure AI Health Bot, a generative AI chatbot that can pull information from internal data and reputable external sources like the Food and Drug Administration and the National Institutes of Health. This chatbot can assist staff in asking questions and help patients clarify their symptoms and medical terms within their patient portal.

Another solution introduced by Microsoft is Text Analytics for health, which can label and extract important medical information from unstructured data sources such as clinical documents and notes. This tool will be available in multiple languages, including Spanish, French, Italian, German, Portuguese, and Hebrew, in addition to English.

Microsoft also unveiled three new models within Azure AI Health Insights. The patient timeline model provides clinicians with a simple, chronological overview of a patient’s medical history by consolidating information from different unstructured data sources. The clinical report simplification model allows clinicians to simplify complex medical reports into language that patients can understand better. Lastly, the radiology insights model helps identify errors and inconsistencies in different reports, offering follow-up recommendations.

Linishya Vaz, principal product manager at Microsoft Health and Life Sciences, believes that these new health-care tools within Azure AI will improve patient experiences and allow clinicians to focus on delivering better care. The solutions are available in a preview capacity, marking a significant step forward in the digital transformation of the health-care industry.

Microsoft’s commitment to revolutionizing health care through data and AI is evident in its innovative products. By providing tools that consolidate and standardize data, streamline communication, and simplify complex medical information, Microsoft is empowering health-care organizations to improve patient care and make more informed decisions. The future of health care looks promising with Microsoft leading the way.

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