Technology needs to be secure, stable and scalable, and it is equally important that itÂ should be supported internally and externally
T S Y Aravindakshan
Lead, Public Sector Breadth, Microsoft
During the last decade the health spend has been risingÂ and the quality of healthcare has been declining.Â Digital technologies are having an impact in everyÂ walk of life, but not much improvement has happened in theÂ healthcare sector. The cost of quality healthcare continues toÂ spiral. At Microsoft we believe that weâre on the cusp of a pivotalÂ change. Within the coming decade, we expect to see aÂ number of innovations that will actually equip consumers toÂ improve their health and manage risks.
One of the primary reasons that digital technologies haveÂ not delivered on the promise is that, up until recently, the vastÂ majority of health information technology solutions (HIT) on theÂ market today have targeted our existing, acute care deliveryÂ system – the hospitals, clinics and emergency departmentsÂ – that are in the business of caring, but not preventing acuteÂ conditions and complications of chronic diseases.
Acute care is, of course, an information-intense business, soÂ itâs no surprise that most of the solutions to date have focusedÂ on digitising, organising, and moving health record informationÂ around the ecosystem. The problem is, our existing acute careÂ delivery system is mired in its own inertia around reimbursements,Â cost shifting, low primary care to specialist ratios, andÂ local turf wars and is now so consumed with acute care that itÂ doesnât even have the capacity to refocus on health.
At Microsoft , our focus is to collaborate and innovate with industry,Â business, academia, government, and consumer leadersÂ to bring innovative, scalable and higher leverage solutionsÂ that bring about improvements in healthcare at lowest cost perÂ capita to the environments where we live, work, learn and play.
With reimbursements falling and medical loss ratio minimumsÂ rising, hospitals, physicians, and health plans are underÂ unprecedented pressure to drive down operating costs whileÂ still improving the quality and safety of patient care. The economicÂ advantages of cloud-based productivity solutions toÂ drive down operational costs and complexity are well understood.
Clinical teams–doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and careÂ coordinators–spend about 80 percent of their time communicating.Â The ability of facilitating communication on the moveÂ between patients and departments and the office and hospitalÂ can make the difference between a rapid recovery and a lifeÂ threatening complication.
Technology needs to be secure, stable and scalable. ItÂ needs to be supported both internally and externally. Itâs notÂ enough to have a system in place internally if the clinicalÂ trial partners you work with canât use it. If life sciences companiesÂ are ever going to ditch paper and move towards anÂ integrated content management system, there needs to beÂ industry-wide agreement on the technologies, standards andÂ protocols and business processes that need to be in place. Â Basically, there is some risk in going 100 percent paperless.Â In order to improve data exchange and foster collaboration,Â solutions should integrate with other applications, and seamlesslyÂ aggregate data from disparate sources into common,Â accessible formats.