Industry Experiences: Exciting Advances in Healthcare Technology to Improve Outcomes - Improving Patient Care with the Power of Blockchain and Machine Learning
In this series of the podcast, I sit down with industry leaders to explore the digital transformation disrupting almost every industry
In this episode, I was lucky enough to talk with David Houlding, Principle Healthcare Program Manager for Azure at Microsoft. David supports the healthcare industry by embracing the power of the cloud to provide better care for patients. From hospitals and insurers to pharmaceuticals and researchers, David links the industry to Microsoft technology to empower the healthcare industry and anticipate the healthcare needs of the future.
Healthcare is a complex industry with many different factors contributing to success. One of those “puzzle pieces,” as David calls them, is technology. Today’s healthcare industry uses cloud technology to address a variety of unique business problems, such as reducing costs and improving patient outcomes. According to David, AI, machine learning, blockchain and IoMT (internet of medical things) can all contribute to the industry’s mission while maintaining compliance with data security and privacy regulations.
David shares some of the technology trends he’s seen throughout the healthcare industry. In particular, he highlights:
· AI and machine learning for diagnostic imaging
· Virtual reality being applied to patient engagement and staff training
· Blockchain to enable collaboration between healthcare organizations
· IoMT (internet of medical things) to gather unprecedented amounts of data
· 5G wireless to enable new connected technologies and reducing latency
These transformations are happening concurrently, resulting in rapid innovation and modernization in the healthcare industry.
David peels back on IoMT specifically, explaining the impact this will have on diagnosis and care. From wearables to connected MRI machines, these tools can better monitor patient health and feed advanced analytics tools to improve outcomes.
David and I discuss the immense opportunity provided by 5G. In rural areas that are still without high speed internet, 5G WAN will enable these communities to access improved healthcare anyway. In addition to levelling the playing field when it comes to internet access, 5G will also enable better healthcare services and patient engagement in traditionally underserved regions.
We then dive into blockchain’s applications for the healthcare industry. David sees blockchain as a channel for healthcare providers to establish a collaborative network to unlock knowledge sharing. By sharing limited amounts of data in a targeted and secure healthcare blockchain, organizations can better meet business goals and improve patient care. David gives a few examples, including:
· Doctor credentialing to reduce redundancy across affiliated organizations
· Medical device tracking to determine when maintenance is required
· Pharmaceutical supply chains to verify the authenticity of medications
· Provider and payer “clearinghouses” to determine eligibility
With blockchain, the information and actions occurring within the healthcare network can happen in real time, reducing the time and costs associated with traditional methods of collaboration and information sharing. David and his team are actively testing some of these use cases to refine the value of blockchain in the healthcare industry. He also dives into Azure’s Blockchain Workbench, which allows rapid prototyping of the technology. Customers can easily define the parameters, add data and test the blockchain environment in a centralized and secure manner.
David also shares the enormous growth happening in healthcare AI. Using AI, thousands of medical images can be processed and analysed, saving time for doctors, allowing them to focus more on patient care and enabling them to triage patients in near real time. This information can then connect to the blockchain to share learnings with the healthcare consortium. We also discuss how AI and machine learning can safeguard medical networks against malicious attacks, such as ransomware, by quickly detecting anomalies and isolating devices to avoid infecting the entire network.
David explains why customers and partners should explore engagement with Azure. From security compliance to hybrid deployment to the flexibility of the platform, Azure provides a holistic solution for addressing the specific needs of the healthcare industry. There’s also a lot of opportunity for partners in terms of hosting solutions in the cloud and building on the Azure platform.
If you’d like to learn more, check out:
· Microsoft Health: https://aka.ms/Kazhno
· Azure Blockchain Workbench: https://aka.ms/Cf02zz
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This episode of the podcast is sponsored by Microsoft and the Industry Experiences Team.