An important component of healthcare is aftercare, where medical professionals need to keep in touch with patients to follow up on their recovery. But the tools available to do so are generally limited to follow-up phone calls and emails, which are not only tedious but can sometimes not meet security standards.
Microsoft’s Healthcare Bot Service will be available as a piece of this package, which the company said is behind more than 1,500 instances of COVID-19-based bots that have gone live since March. These bots can help alleviate the strain on emergency hotlines for medical providers while addressing common questions that people might have.
Another service Microsoft is making available is the Bookings app in its Teams collaboration platform, which will allow healthcare workers to schedule, manage and conduct provider-to-patient virtual visits without leaving Teams. Like most similar telehealth services today, Bookings (for Healthcare, at least) will send patients a customized email to go to their appointment in one click on a desktop, or in the Teams app on iOS or Android. A Microsoft spokesperson confirmed to Engadget that Teams “supports HIPAA compliance and is HITRUST certified.”
Cloud for Healthcare will also offer “enhanced patient engagement portals,” according to Microsoft, which lets patients and providers manage appointment booking, reminders and bill payments across various devices. Similar portals already exist, but Microsoft’s will likely make for a more seamless experience on the medical provider’s end since it can tie into other behind-the-scenes part of the infrastructure.
Microsoft’s service is also designed to make it easier for care teams to work across the many parts of America’s dizzying healthcare infrastructure. It includes tools for medical workers to easily create referrals, look up providers, as well as “understand physician spend, satisfaction and enhanced analytics on referral categories,” according to the company’s news release.