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Unlocking Healthcare Innovation in Canada

As healthcare professionals from around the world gather for the HIMSS19 Global Conference, it’s worthwhile to reflect on Canada’s progress on embracing digital transformation in healthcare. While we face the challenges of an aging population and increasing healthcare costs, we see more and more healthcare organizations across Canada leverage technology as key part of the solution to ‘bend the curve’ on both healthcare economics and patient impact.

At Microsoft, we’re committed to helping the healthcare industry leverage the power of technology to drive innovation and impact across the industry. Our mission is to empower healthcare organizations to leverage the power of technology to improve patient outcomes and discover new solutions that will make the future of healthcare even better. Importantly, our commitment is to do this while ensuring the highest levels of data privacy and compliance in a trusted and secure environment. And we are already starting to see this come to life in Canada!

Making an Impact in Canada

An incredible example of healthcare innovation powered by Microsoft comes from ThoughtWire, a Toronto-based company and leader in Operations Performance Management (OPM) for built environments. We are happy to announce  that ThoughtWire relies on Microsoft Azure as the cloud platform provider for its Smart Hospital Application Suite, including its EarlyWarning application which is used to provide preemptive care for patients in critical high acuity states.

Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS), an early adapter of EarlyWarning, saw an extraordinary 61 per cent reduction in code blues (calls signaling the risk of a cardiac arrest). Their hospital staff’s ability to provide real-time responsiveness to high priority patients with support from ThoughtWire’s EarlyWarning application is ultimately saving lives.

According to ThoughtWire CEO Mike Monteith, Microsoft Azure’s proven and intuitive platform enables their OPM solutions “to seamlessly orchestrate IT, OT, and IoT systems for actionable, and even life-saving, results.”

Together, Microsoft and ThoughtWire are addressing some of the biggest challenges for health systems include the rising cost of healthcare, clinician burnout, the inability to operationalize data quickly and disconnected data silos.

We have also seen amazing outcomes with Oculys at Markham Stouffville Hospital where Azure is being leveraged to safely and securely transmit health information in the cloud. From emergency department wait times and operating room performance, to bed utilization and patient-flow bottlenecks – their focus is to remove barriers and improve patient outcomes while maintaining the highest standard of patient privacy.

Leveraging local research for global reach

BC Cancer and Microsoft have established a game-changing partnership where BC Cancer researchers are using a radically investigative approach known as single cell genomics to analyze millions of individual cells that make up cancer. Through Microsoft Azure’s cloud computing and AI capabilities, BC Cancer researchers are building the knowledge that will enable them to predict how certain cells within a patient’s tumour would respond to chemotherapy.

This unique partnership is the first of its kind to incorporate technology that can process genomic sequencing at an unparalleled rate and leverage the cloud for unlimited knowledge sharing with the global research community through an international genomics database. This partnership also makes BC Cancer one of a handful of organizations worldwide capable of this advanced research, setting a standard for Canadian cancer research on a global scale.

At Microsoft, we are helping health organizations make better use of data, make systems more interoperable, and make insights actionable and useful for care workflows. These are core challenges that have faced the industry for years and these innovations are saving lives. With the continued growth of our partner ecosystem and the continuous industry cross-collaboration, we look forward to continuing to redefine healthcare technology for decades to come.

To read more about Microsoft’s latest healthcare news and global customer momentum visit the Microsoft Official Blog post here.