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Data interoperability in long-term care: Can Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare deliver it?

Dena McCorry, Principal, Healthcare & Life Sciences

You’re a healthcare professional. You’re overseeing patients in a long-term care facility as well as patients off-site. Some, or most, of them have been issued medical devices to measure your blood pressure or collect other critical healthcare info.

Can you see it all? Can you capture and analyze it in your information systems, mobile devices, or workstations? Is the data you’re capturing “operable” or are you — like so many in healthcare — suffering interoperability issues?

The future of healthcare is now officially and inextricably linked to improving the patient care experience, but without rapid access to the data from medical devices being used by patients, improving care is an uphill climb. But with Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare and Arbela Health, and actionable data from every patient under your care can become an everyday reality, and data interoperability can be a thing of the past.

Let’s discuss via two real-world examples.

A blood pressure cuff attached via Bluetooth streams a patient’s blood pressure data, central information to monitoring that patient’s health. Using tools from Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare — Azure’s device IoT hub along with Microsoft Dynamics 365 customer engagement —Arbela Health provides interactive dashboards using Power BI showing relevant device alert data, so you can see and respond to this data in real-time (Figure 1). Should a patient’s data show high blood pressure, you’re immediately empowered to determine a patient’s status, contact them, or schedule an office visit.

An electrotherapy patch provides pain management. Within the device itself, data is streaming, monitoring usage, device efficacy, etc.  Using Arbela Health, that device’s data is now available via a dashboard (Figure 2) where, for example, the device maker’s customer service representative can monitor performance.  If the device data indicates overheating, for example, a customer service representative can quickly notify the patient—eliminating the middleman—before a possible injury occurs. 

There are countless medical devices currently in use across millions of patients delivering untold reams of actionable data. The challenge has always been how to collect that data, get it where it’s needed (caregivers, systems, manufacturers, etc.) and can it be acted on, and report for future optimization. The data was siloed and essentially inoperable. But with Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare and Arbela Health, we are solutioning data interoperability and helping you keep others healthy.