Microsoft + Humana partnership uses the cloud to make patient records actionable

Azure will manage the data, and FHIR will ensure health data from multiple sources can be combined into one record.

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Humana and Microsoft want to use Azure to convert electronic medical records from “doctors only” into something a patient could use.

Humana will use Azure to move its patient records into the cloud. This will allow the insurance company to use more advanced data analytics to look for trends in the data and to create a “longitudinal patient record.”

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Instead of disconnected files scattered throughout the healthcare system, this new health record could track the multiple factors that influence health and make timely care suggestions.

Heather Cox, chief of digital health and analytics at Humana,
 said the overall goal to use machine learning at scale to make the healthcare system more connected and better at delivering care.

Cox said the partnership has three goals:

  1. Modernizing Humana’s tech platforms by moving applications to the cloud

  2. Aggregating EHR data in the cloud to allow advanced analytics to drive the agenda

  3. Building new products and services in collaboration with Microsoft

As part of this partnership, Microsoft also announced Azure API for FHIR will be available to all Azure customers. First announced in February, this cloud-based service allows companies to to ingest and manage healthcare data in the native Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) format. FHIR is a standard for health care data exchange.

Cox and Greg Moore, MD, PhD, the corporate vice president of health technology and alliances at Microsoft, used the annual flu shot as an example of how the partnership will change the patient…