Microsoft Announces Digital Dashboard for Physicians

NEW ORLEANS, Feb. 6, 2001 — Microsoft Corp. unveiled today the Physician Digital Dashboard at the 2001 Conference and Exhibition of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS 2001), held Feb. 4-8 in New Orleans. Microsoft and its industry partners have taken the technology of a digital dashboard, which synchronizes information and displays it in one visible, easy-to-read place, and developed it specifically for physicians. Used in a clinic setting, for example, the Physician Digital Dashboard allows doctors, nurses and clinicians to access consolidated personal, team, hospital, patient and external information and enables single-click access to analytical and collaborative tools.

“Managed care has imposed additional requirements for doctors on top of their primary job of caring for patients. They have to fill out so much paperwork, file claims and perform many other administrative tasks,”
said Davide Vigano, director of public sector and healthcare for Microsoft.
“Doctors care about their patients’ health, but they only have a few moments to focus on giving care. The Physician Digital Dashboard addresses that by giving the doctor a consolidated view and eliminating the need to track down information or switch applications. On the Physician Digital Dashboard, it’s all there.”

The Physician Digital Dashboard, Vigano said, is a perfect example of the Microsoft® .NET vision — computing anywhere, any time and on any device — tailored to meet the uniquely demanding needs of healthcare.
“The Physician Digital Dashboard makes it possible to display key data with a single keystroke, which helps a doctor make the most informed, patient-focused decisions,”
Vigano said.

According to Clifford Goldsmith, M.D., managing consultant with Microsoft Consulting Services Healthcare Practice, who headed up the development of the Physician Digital Dashboard, the tool brings synchronized, up-to-the-minute information to the point of patient-doctor contact.
“Our design criteria were based on feedback we received from numerous discussions with practicing physicians,”
Goldsmith said.

Using various Web-enabled applications — or Web Parts — the Physician Digital Dashboard displays information synchronized according to patient, including medical records, insurance conditions and e-mail records. It can display not only the data from electrocardiographs (ECGs), but the actual ECG itself. The Physician Digital Dashboard enables the creation of patient-based Web services, meaning that patients will be able to maintain an ongoing, online journal of medical issues and have the physician interact with it. In many cases those online journals will be maintained automatically. Glucose monitors, pacemakers and other medical devices, for example, will transmit their results directly to the Web by means of a high-speed Internet connection in the patient’s home.

Key Upgrades

The new version of the Physician Digital Dashboard includes two key components:

  • The Physician Digital Dashboard has the ability to provide a connection to an active patient task list, which is a powerful productivity tool for physicians. The patient list and other Web Parts are compliant with the Health Level Seven (HL7) CCOW Standard. CCOW is a standard devised specifically for the healthcare arena that defines the specifications necessary for creating a multiapplication, multitechnology clinical desktop. The Physician Digital Dashboard has the ability to combine multiple schedules into one view — something doctors have been asking for for some time now.

  • Consistent with the move to services on the Internet, the Physician Digital Dashboard allows for the creation of patient-specific Web connections. This is a big step toward enabling patients to maintain and control access to their personal, interactive health records.

Context Management

One of the key enabling technologies embedded within the Physician Digital Dashboard is Vergence. Developed by Sentillion Inc., which is based in Andover, Mass., Vergence is CCOW-compliant context management technology that synchronizes all the Web Parts on the Physician Digital Dashboard, as well as other applications running on the clinical desktop, so they work together as a common, coordinated suite. John Douglass, Sentillion’s executive vice president of marketing, said that the collaboration with Microsoft offers healthcare professionals a computer-based tool which is a natural extension of their thought process.

“We know that caregivers’ minds already run multiple ‘systems’ simultaneously,”
Douglass said.
“The Physician Digital Dashboard brings multiple computer-based information sources together in a single view. Vergence coordinates these disparate information sources around a user-specified context, enabling caregivers to use them in way that mirrors their train of thought. This saves the caregiver tremendous time, advances decision-making and, ultimately, enhances patient care.”

According to Douglass, the Microsoft Physician Digital Dashboard addresses a significant challenge within healthcare IT today.
“Computers and information systems are becoming as common place in the healthcare setting as stethoscopes,”
he said.
“And the latest breakthrough Web technologies are redefining healthcare delivery. As caregivers increasingly depend upon computer-based information, healthcare organizations must find ways for all these technologies to work together seamlessly to simplify access and use for caregivers. The Physician Digital Dashboard brings the industry a step closer to achieving this goal.”


The Microsoft Physician Digital Dashboard is available online at .

About Sentillion

Sentillion is the leading provider of context management technology solutions that simplify caregivers’ access to and use of Web- and Windows® -based healthcare applications, enabling more efficient, effective and safer patient care. Sentillion’s technology portfolio includes the Vergence™ Context Management solution, the only commercially available solution, fully compliant with the Health Level Seven (HL7) CCOW standard, capable of linking multiple, independently authored healthcare applications on an enterprisewide basis at provider institutions. Sentillion also offers sophisticated and comprehensive development tools, workshops and technical support to help application developers quickly and easily achieve compliance with the CCOW standard. A privately held company, Sentillion is headquartered in Andover, Mass., and located on the Web at .

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.

Microsoft and Windows are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

Sentillion and Vergence are trademarks of Sentillion Inc.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at on Microsoft’s corporate information pages.

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