Skip to content

Health digital transformation: It’s an empowering journey, not a destination

By Elena Bonfiglioli, Senior Director, Health Industry Europe Middle East and Africa, Public Sector, Microsoft Corporation on December 8, 2016

Filed under Health

Device with Patient private office

I am optimistic about how European health systems are progressing in the journey of digital transformation. Enabled by a cloud that serves the global good, systems of intelligence reasoning over massive amount of date are poised to empower every patient and care team to achieve more.

Having spent the last few weeks traveling across Europe – from Norway to Portugal and passing by Barcelona for the WoHIT – to talk about Digital Transformation in health; here are my reflections. It’s reassuring to see different regions undertaking their own digital transformation journey based on where they are “right now” both in terms of digital readiness and transformation goals. Digital transformation is not a “yes or no” state of being. Rather, it is an evolving destination as technology continues to progress and expectations we have of health services continue to evolve. Everyone is somewhere along the continuum to: engage patients in new ways, empower care teams with collaboration and communication, optimize clinical and operational effectiveness, and transform the care continuum.

My colleague Elena Casas’ recent blog tells the story from a Spanish perspective on how we empower each person and organization to achieve more by making it easier for health professionals to connect with each other and with their patients using cloud solutions like those from Ribera Salud.

At WoHIT, Devscope – one of our Portuguese partners – was awarded the Elsevier Award for HVITAL, a solution deployed at São João Hospital Center able to predict up to 30% of ICU admissions, seven days in advance. In the Portuguese Ministry of Health Shared Services (SPMS) Dr. Martins realizing a transformation to is to empower citizens to access health services smoothly, and health professionals to harness the power of mobility, predictive health, and advanced analytics.

When it comes to systemic innovation, it’s exciting to see how countries like Sweden are infusing modern communication and collaboration capabilities into the health system at scale. For example, Cambio Healthcare systems is integrating Skype for Business capabilities into their Cosmic EMR to offer solutions that help health organizations across Sweden provide virtual healthcare to more people seamlessly. In Germany, Vitabook is opening the way to cutting edge services and storage of patient data in the cloud. They provide a unique health-account, which enables patients to connect with their necessary instances online – every established doctor, every clinic, every pharmacy – throughout Germany.

Thinking about how we transform the care continuum, I was honored to moderate a session on how health organizations are advancing in precision medicine and how genomics is benefiting from the computing power and scalability of the public cloud—which is a powerful lever for digital transformation. We had almost 130 people in a room crackling with energy as we discussed the game-changing innovation that we’re seeing in this field such as how to provide genomics data management solution to empower innovation with BioBanks, from Finland where partner BC Platforms is working with Helsinky University Hospital; to Mexico, with Codigo46 powered by the Microsoft Azure cloud., we also discussed Microsoft’s recent announcement about a computing method that makes a key aspect of genomic sequencing seven times faster. This time gain could empower clinicians to diagnose rare diseases in four hours instead of 28 hours, empowering better health outcomes to those who most need it, like 1,400 patients suffering from the Dravet Syndromat La Paz Hospital in Madrid, Spain. Our collaboration with researchers at La Paz hospital and the Dravet Foundation – made it possible to detect mutations in more than 200 epilepsy genes and get a diagnosis in a matter of months instead of years using the Microsoft Azure cloud.

Whether it’s machine learning for better clinical outcomes, genomics or systemic care coordination across the continuum, the digital transformation journey is about taking sure steps to empower better human experiences and patient outcomes. That’s what I saw at WoHIT. And it’s what I see every day in the work that our partners and health organizations across Europe are doing. If you want to discover more, join us at the Health Innovation Summit on January 31st-Feb 1st, 2017 in Brussels.

Useful Links

Contact Us