For seventeen years, through its Innovation Awards, the Microsoft Health Users Group (Microsoft HUG) has recognized health organizations and their technology solution partners for using Microsoft devices and services in innovative ways that enhance the quality of patient care, improve clinician productivity and electronic medical record (EMR) optimization, and streamline clinical and business processes.

These awards are a testament to the value, flexibility, and extensibility of the Microsoft platform. As EMRs are becoming more widely adopted, we’re addressing – together with our customers and partners – the need to make those systems more scalable so they can meet the demands of our new healthcare environment that has been created by the Affordable Care Act.

Today, at the 2014 Annual HIMSS Conference & Exhibition, we are pleased to announce the winners of this year’s Microsoft HUG Innovation Awards. The recipients in each of the submission categories, including two winners in the Innovation in Electronic Medical Record (EMR) Optimization category, are as follows:

Innovation in Patient Engagement: Genesis Rehabilitation Services with Respond Well®

Powered by the Respond Well® platform, Genesis Rehabiliation Services created the Genesis Rehabilitation Services Virtual Trainer, a falls prevention and rehab solution enabling therapists to prescribe an engaging, personalized rehab program using a Microsoft Kinect for Windows sensor to monitor patient performance.

Innovation in Electronic Medical Record Optimization: Healthcare Corporation of America (HCA)

Built on Microsoft technology like Windows Server 2008R2, BizTalk Server, MSMQ and Internet Information Server, HCA’s Information & Technology Services division developed the Enterprise Public Health Exchange (ePHEX) – Public Health Reporting tool, a solution that was designed to enable the evaluation and processing of clinical data from HCA-affiliated facilities through a highly-configurable, EMR-agnostic, clinical integration platform as required by Meaningful Use Stage 2.

Innovation in Electronic Medical Record Optimization: São João Hospital with DevScope

São João Hospital and DevScope developed and implemented the VITAL – SurVeillance, MoniToring and Alert solution based on Microsoft’s business intelligence capabilities, including SQL Server 2012 Enterprise Edition, across the hospital to help analyze and correlate the massive amounts of patient data housed and spread within its several systems. The solution automatically identifies, scores, and promptly alerts hospital staff about patients at risk for clinical deterioration, helping staff address the situation where possible. It is also able to anticipate 30 percent of intensive care unit (ICU) admissions and 50 percent of non-intensive care unit (ICU) inpatient deaths within seven days before the event.

Innovation in Infrastructure Optimization: Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center – Center for Technology Commercialization with Aspect Software

Cincinnati Children’s Hospital launched the Intellectual Property Monetization Framework, a solution developed with Aspect Software that leverages Microsoft’s Dynamic CRM technology to identify and track leads, opportunities, and exclusive licenses involving innovative organizations within the industry based on shared areas of interest. These connections help to move lifesaving technologies to the marketplace to save lives and affect outcomes for pediatric patients around the world.

Innovation in Mobile Health Solutions: Meridian Health with iMPak Health

Meridian Health is using iMPak Health’s Kraken Medication Management System, a Windows Azure and Windows 8.1 mobile OS solution, to improve medication compliance by using innovative, low-cost, and easy to use mobile devices to assist patients by organizing their medications and reminding them to take them.

Open Innovation: Janssen Incubator, Janssen Research, & Development, LLC

A team within Janssen R&D has developed the Autism Knowledge Engine, the first comprehensive digital platform for tracking outcomes and optimizing development of novel medicines for autism spectrum disorders. Brought to life through Microsoft Azure IaaS and Microsoft HealthVault, some of the key features of the engine interface include the ability to track multiple autism spectrum disorder symptoms of interest and a single caregiver controlled repository of all relevant medical information.

In addition to acknowledging the innovative solutions of these recipients, we would like to thank each of the distinguished judges who reviewed this year’s entries, including: Brian Ahier, President, Advanced HIE Resources; David Carr, Editor, InformationWeek Healthcare; Ahmad Hashem, MD, PhD, Board Member, Global Affairs, Boston Biopharmaceuticals, Inc; Cathy Ivory, PhD, RN-BC, Assistant Professor, Vanderbilt University School of Nursing; Scott Lundstrom, Group VP, IDC Health Insights; Charlene Marietti, Executive Director of Editorial Initiatives, The Vendome Group, LLC; Rod Piechowski, Sr. Director, Healthcare Information Systems, HIMSS; Richard Pizzi, Editorial Director, HIMSS Media; Benjamin Rooks, Principal, ST Advisors; Jane Sarasohn-Kahn, MA (Econ.), MHSA, Health Economist and Advisor, THINK-Health and Health Populi Blog.

If your health organization has used Microsoft technology in an innovative way to achieve breakthrough improvements in patient care or consumer health scenarios, please share it with our Microsoft HUG community of more than 10,000 members. You can also email to join Microsoft HUG.

Stay tuned to this blog to hear more about our activities at #HIMSS14 this week.