Every day I read or see news about countries and governments in Europe looking for new ways to reduce government expenditures at the same time as they need to meet the requirements of their citizens for improved services.
With healthcare being an increasing part of government budgets due to demographic changes, the need for innovative ways to both cut costs and to respond to citizen requirements makes it a logical place for IT to make a difference. European countries and government leaders across the globe are trying to identify ways to ensure the future of quality care delivery within budget, and technology can be a major facilitator.
In December 2011 in Brussels, Microsoft hosted the 3rd annual Healthcare and Partner event attended by government leaders, healthcare partners and customers with the theme of "Partnering for Better Healthcare". The very purpose of this event was to discuss the use of ICT to enable advanced patient-centric healthcare in Europe.
On the 2nd day of the event, I hosted a workshop for Microsoft healthcare partners from 12 countries with the specific purpose of working together to help ensure the delivery of better healthcare solutions. Throughout the day Microsoft partners presented their businesses and solutions and explored ways to link efforts with other partners in this field.
From the conversations, it was clear that healthcare challenges are complex and the increasing demands of citizens have to be met with a wide range of very specific solutions. But this said, the solutions provided by our partners are responding to the demand.
From Polycom, Charlie James spoke on the great impact unified communications has on telemedicine, enabling remote healthcare and saving money. André Huizing from Avanade highlighted their successful Avanade Retail ERP solution based on the Microsoft Dynamics AX platform to more effectively utilize resources and Stef Knaepkens from Brandnewday presented their innovative digital health coaching solution iChange that inspires people to live a healthier life. Also Cegeka presented C-eHealth Suite to manage patient information, and Dedalus, Capgemini, HP, Partezis/Xperthis and Realdolmen highlighted their focus on healthcare and their multiple solutions in this area.
All of the presented solutions have a positive impact on costs, efficiency and improved healthcare! Despite my very long experience working with partners, my knowledge of fast-moving healthcare solutions always benefits from an update, so getting a comprehensive insight into these great solutions proved valuable for everyone at the workshop, and more importantly will prove value for patients and the healthcare industry moving forward.
As proven during this event, great partner solutions, based on Microsoft technologies, are available for the healthcare industry today and an increasing number of healthcare customers are embracing the opportunities that collaboration and management tools, Health Information Modernization solutions and cloud technology can bring to health organizations and their patients!
Microsoft will continue to partner with the health industry, government and partners to respond to these opportunities and further develop great solutions, that can help meet the challenges governments and the healthcare industry are facing today.
I am already looking forward to the 4th eHealth event in 2012!
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