Microsoft has announced a multi-year partnership with Renton, Washington-based health system Providence St. Joseph Health to leverage the tech company’s strengths in cloud computing and AI with the clinical expertise of one of the country’s largest health systems.
The organizations will work together on developing tools to improve health outcomes and reduce cost of care by trying to help drive better clinical decisions through the use of Providence’s extensive data assets. These solutions will be piloted at a Providence-affiliated hospital in Seattle before being rolled out across the provider’s footprint.
As part of the partnership, Providence will use Microsoft Azure as its preferred cloud platform and offer the health system’s 119,000 caregivers the use of communication and productivity tools on the Microsoft 365 platform.
“Our alliance with Providence St. Joseph Health brings together the expertise of one of the largest and most comprehensive health systems in the country with the power of Azure, Microsoft 365 and Dynamics 365,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in a statement.
“Our ambition is to accelerate Providence St. Joseph Health’s digital transformation and to build new innovations together that are designed to improve health care delivery and outcomes.”
The move is a major step in the tech giant’s effort to bring its enterprise tools and technical capabilities to bear in a healthcare setting. Earlier this year the company launched a series of new tools built on its Azure cloud platform meant to allow more efficient communication among providers and secure sharing of personal health information.
These include new HIPAA-compliant secure communications tools for healthcare teams to better coordinate and collaborate, as well as a customizable bot that can be used to build healthcare-oriented virtual assistants and chatbots.
The solutions are meant to help enable better care coordination through the ingestion and interoperable use of multiple clinical data sources.
In January, Microsoft veteran B.J. Moore joined Providence as the health system’s chief information officer tasked with guiding the organization on its effort to modernize its software ecosystem and processes.
Moore joined a number of other former technology leaders as members of the health system’s executive team including Chief Digital Officer Aaron Martin, formerly of Amazon, and CFO Venkat Bhamidipati, another Microsoft transplant.
“Providence St. Joseph Health is in the middle of broad transformation, and the alliance with Microsoft will help us fully modernize our IT solutions, bringing the power and flexibility of the cloud to an industry that has traditionally lagged behind in modernizing its technology,” Moore said in a statement.
Healthcare organizations have emerged as a major market for large tech firms as they look to build out their enterprise cloud platforms with Microsoft’s Azure platform competing head-to-head with Google Health Cloud and Amazon Web Services.
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