What is true BYOD?

27 September 2013 | Sumit Virmani, Director, Health for Microsoft Worldwide Public Sector

Mobile health workers are bringing a barrage of devices into the workplace. They love that their mobile devices can go with them as they move between patients and facilities, and between work and home. But they want more than just being able to access their mail and Web-based applications. They want to have as close to the same productivity experience on their mobile devices as they do on a traditional PC.

That’s what true BYOD is all about. And it’s something we at Microsoft focused on in a big way in the design of Office 365. It provides mobile health workers with anywhere access to familiar Office applications optimized for the best experience across devices, while helping health organizations adhere to patient data privacy regulations. Here are just a few examples of how mobile health workers can be more productive and collaborate better with true BYOD experiences available with Office 365:

Mobile apps optimized for a variety of devices

Office Mobile is available on Windows Phone, and iOS- and Android-based devices free of cost with an Office 365 subscription. Being able to view and edit their Word documents and Excel spreadsheets that are sent as email attachments on any of these devices is a huge productivity booster for health workers on the go. Content and formatting stay intact, regardless of the device being used. And the intuitive touch features make it easy for clinicians to quickly flip through PowerPoint slides and add their comments on the fly. These productivity experiences are enhanced to a whole new level with collaboration across multiple users for documents stored on SharePoint, so mobile health workers can always access their latest work—or their colleagues’ latest work—which brings me to my next point.

Files and documents automatically synced to the cloud


With Skydrive Pro, mobile health workers’ documents go with them—whether they’re using a  Windows-based tablet or PC, Windows Phone, iPhone, iPad or Android-based device. Skydrive Pro allows them to easily sync designated files automatically to the cloud, meaning that they will never be without their shared documents, patient records, care plans, and more—regardless of whether they’re at the hospital, at home, or on the go. True BYOD means mobile health workers can do their work even when their device isn’t connected to the Internet or corporate network—and their most recent changes will be synchronized seamlessly with SkyDrive Pro when their device reconnects to the network or Wi-Fi. Skydrive Pro also allows care team members to share information and collaborate on documents by syncing SharePoint team sites or portals. And it has built-in security and access rights so that only the intended recipients can view and edit documents stored online.

Consistent real-time communications client across apps and devices


Microsoft Lync brings the many ways mobile health workers communicate into a single client that’s consistent across applications and devices. Lync native apps are available for iPhone, iPad, and Android—in addition to Windows, of course. Lync apps optimized for device experiences across platforms, let health workers initiate and manage voice and video calls, online meetings, and instant messaging to communicate with patients and care team members using their mobile devices. Further, Lync-Skype connectivity enables mobile health workers to use Microsoft Lync to communicate with hundreds of millions of Skype users worldwide. And Lync uses encryption to help secure and track information exchanged between doctors, family members, the care team, and government agencies according to the latest regulations.

This is what I call true BYOD for mobile health workers with Office 365—addressing real productivity and collaboration needs across different user types within health organizations. Learn more about how Office 365 can help health organizations enable true BYOD here and here. Or read my previous blogs.

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Sumit Virmani
Director, Health for Microsoft Worldwide Public Sector

Microsoft in Health Blog

About the Author

Sumit Virmani | Director, Health for Microsoft Worldwide Public Sector

Sumit Virmani, director in Health for Microsoft Worldwide Public Sector, is responsible for strategy and marketing of collaboration technologies in the health industry globally. Read more