Microsoft joins with US health chain to build “high tech” hospital

Microsoft is reportedly working with a US hospital chain to build a new “high tech” hospital.

CNBC said that the software giant is working with Providence St Joseph to adapt an existing site in the Seattle area, near Microsoft’s headquarters.

According to the report the two firms have discussed their vision of the “hospital of the future” for months, said Providence’s CEO Rod Hochman.

These have included several one-on-one conversations with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.

Like the other big tech giants, Apple, Amazon, and Alphabet, Microsoft is attempting to break into the healthcare market.

Microsoft’s focus looks likely to be in the hospital IT software market, where a previous product called Amalga failed to gain traction.

The other three tech firms are looking at different areas, including clinical trials and medical devices.

Microsoft will be looking at the ongoing issue of improved electronic medical records, so that doctors, nurses, and other health providers can securely and ethically share patient information.

An inability to share or access electronic or paper records across hospitals and health systems is a cause of frustration for healthcare providers the world over.

Poor connectivity in health records results in vast amounts of wasted time where different clinicians hold duplicate information gathering meetings with the same patient time and time again.

Other priorities are using innovations like natural language processing and machine learning to help clinicians diagnose and treat patients.

Another focus is on improving health care and lowering costs by working with Seattle’s largest employers.

This follows the example of Amazon, which has a partnership with JP Morgan and Berkshire Hathaway to make healthcare more accessible in a project recently named “The Haven”.

There are few other details available about the Microsoft project, other than both are investing “significant human capital and dollars” into it.

Providence owns hospitals in Washington and six other states and has hired digital leaders from tech companies including Microsoft and Amazon in a bid to become more tech-savvy.

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