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Microsoft in Health

Demonstrating the best of both worlds—desktop and mobile capabilities

08 April 2014 | Gareth Hall, Windows 8 lead, Microsoft Worldwide Health

Working the booth at HIMSS, I got to speak with hundreds of customers and partners about their mobility needs for healthcare. One of the things I heard over and over was that health professionals need to be able to run the desktop versions of their clinical systems on their mobile devices. They can do most of what they need to with the subset of functionality in mobile clinical apps. But often when health professionals are with a patient, tablet in hand, the patient asks a question that requires access to the full-functionality version of their clinical system. That means they need to dig out their laptop or log onto a desktop PC to answer their patient’s question. They really don’t want to have to switch devices like this.

So it was great to be able to talk about the Epic Hyperspace 2014 application. It enables clinicians to run the desktop version of the Epic electronic medical record system (EMR) directly on a Windows 8 tablet. That means health professionals can use the full-functionality version of the application to support physicians in inpatient and outpatient settings to manage clinical and revenue cycle workflows.

Health professionals can also run both the mobile and desktop version of the Allscripts electronic health record system (EHR) on their Windows 8 mobile devices. And at HIMSS, Allscripts demonstrated its Windows 8 Allscripts Wand for TouchWorks EHR. In fact, it was pretty cool to have the Allscripts Chief Innovation Officer Stanley Crane repeatedly come over to our booth to demonstrate Allscripts Wand on our 82-inch touchscreen. The app takes advantage of the power of Windows 8 touch features for many form factors,so clinicians can have the same experience whether they’re using Allscripts Wand on a tablet, , desktop, laptop or wall-mounted workstation. And the folks over at Allscripts have done some really clever things around integrating camera, voice, and pen capabilities. For example, a clinician can take a photo of a lesion on a patient’s skin and import it straight into the patient’s medical record using Allscripts Wand.

Yet another way that clinicians can work more efficiently using Windows 8 devices was announced just prior to HIMSS by UPMC and Caradigm. And we got to demonstrate their Windows 8.1 tablet-based, single-sign on platform in our booth. It lets physicians, with the touch of a screen, instantly switch among different clinical applications while maintaining patient context.

This addresses one of the classic challenges for health professionals, which is that they have to use multiple clinical applications when working on a patient’s case—and for each application, they have to look up the patient. UPMC and Caradigm have built a context engine so that essentially once you look up a patient in one application, it brings up that patient in all the other applications you open. It’s a huge time saver for clinicians.

It was great to hear from health professionals that today’s Windows 8, clinical-grade apps and services are meeting more and more of their needs. Because that’s what it’s all about—technology that supports the way clinicians work so they can do what they do even better, faster, and easier.

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Gareth Hall
Windows 8 lead, Microsoft Worldwide Health