Future Vision: Microsoft knowledge driven health

 

 



If your company ever comes to Redmond for a health industry briefing at our Executive Briefing Center, or you happen to attend one of the many keynotes I give at industry conferences throughout the year, you'll more than likely see what is known as our Health Future Vision video. 

This is the third such health industry video we have produced here at Microsoft.  It has been my pleasure to work closely with Ian Sands and his Industry Innovations Group (IIG) to bring these videos to life.  What's particularly interesting is how accurate the videos have been in predicting future industry trends and how technology will influence the way we work.  Perhaps that's because IIG does so much internal and external research before producing one of these videos.  We also base them on technology that is either currently available but not widely implemented, or on technology that is being actively pursued in the labs at Microsoft Research.  In any event, everything you see in the video is based on technology that is available now, or is very likely to be available within a 7 to 12 year time frame.

Our newest Future Vision Video also captures the essence of healthcare industry trends that I've been following and writing about for the last few years.  This includes the rising tide of consumerism in healthcare, the retail movement, commoditization of services, information everywhere, and globalization.

In the video, we follow a young pre-diabetic patient as she ventures out on a run. During her run, various physiologic functions are being monitored and data is being sent in real time to her personal health record. 

 

A case manager, who has been given permission by the patient to see her data, becomes aware that she may qualify for a new clinical trial.  When the young woman returns home she enters into a virtual consultation with her case manager who directs her to check with her personal physician about possible enrollment in the study.  She immediately schedules a "virtual conference" with her personal physician.

 

The scene switches to the young woman's endocrinologist as he beings to make rounds in a hospital.  He uses a very light-weight Tablet computer to gather information on his patients, locate needed equipment, and conduct his patient visits. 

 

We see him performing a retinal exam on one of his diabetic inpatients and sharing results with the patient. 

He later enters a special room where he conducts a "virtual visit" with the young woman we saw at the beginning of the video.  The physician, his patient, and a clinical researcher collaborate on details of the proposed clinical trial.

The doctor instructs his patient to visit a nearby retail setting, where as the video comes to a close, we see her using her "digital wallet" and a kiosk to get necessary tests and medication for the clinical trial.

 

I think the video accurately reflects the kind of consumer-directed, quality and price transparent, knowledge-driven healthcare delivery system we'd all like to see.  And while this is just a video, it certainly captures the essence for how information technology will help transform medical practice to better connect people and data, facilitate improved collaboration, and better inform everyone involved.

Bill Crounse, MD   Worldwide Health Director    Microsoft Corporation

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