I always get so excited hearing about how digital transformation is impacting the way people work, how they do business, and especially the way our partners engage their clients. I’ve been happy to share some of the digital transformation stories that resonated with me from retail to banking, even football. I love seeing how our partners are on the cutting edge of the technology services and solutions that are changing the world each and every day. It is what makes this job and industry great to be a part of.
A High Impact Vertical
As partners around the world gather together at HIMSS, the largest, most important healthcare IT conference in the United States, I wanted to share a few stories of how the healthcare industry, in particular, is changing in response to new technologies and new customer needs. If you don’t already know, healthcare technology presents a sizable partner opportunity. It is anticipated that by 2020, the healthcare IT market will reach $104.5 billion. Here are just a few examples of Microsoft partners making a difference in the world of healthcare.
I heard about this partner on my last trip to Asia. RingMD is a health tech startup that is bringing healthcare online and improving communication between patients and doctors around the world. Based out of Singapore, RingMD is making healthcare more accessible and more affordable for people around the world, even for people who traditionally could not afford it and/or did not physically have access to a clinic, hospital or healthcare professional. Their Azure-hosted ecosystem of healthcare solutions spans mobile and desktop apps, wearable technology that tracks user’s steps, temperature and heart rate, a mobile eye clinic that fits in a backpack, and even includes an AI-powered chatbot that is revolutionizing patient triage.
Inspired by their CEO Justin Fulcher’s travels around Indonesia, the RingMD online platform allows its global user base to connect with tens of thousands of doctors by text, audio or video. They are a digital-health, cloud-only company and have been called “the Uber of Healthcare.” Whether their customers are looking to connect with a doctor to address minor ailments or to get a second opinion from a specialist, with RingMD patients are able to speak with a doctor or wellness professional of their choice wherever they are and whenever they need to.
“We are committed to enhancing the patient-doctor relationship, believing it to be a fundamental requirement for effective healthcare. Through the use of cutting-edge technology, we provide our patients with instant access to a global community of the world’s leading physicians. Our system avoids the shortcomings and delays of the current health system – instead, we provide an efficient, interactive experience designed to please doctors and patients alike.”
– Katya Kroupnik, Head of Marketing & Growth, RingMD
Right here in my own backyard, Seattle-based partner KenSci was founded in 2015 as a spinoff of a University of Washington research project. They are currently building the world’s first vertically integrated machine learning platform in the healthcare marketplace, offering a risk prediction platform and apps for healthcare providers. The company’s mission is to make healthcare more proactive, more coordinated, and more accountable through data-driven methodology and technology. To accomplish this, they use Azure to help predict health outcomes in patients.
KenSci as a company comprises an interesting mix of doctors and data scientists to capitalize on the knowledge and information offered within the field of data analytics. Patients inevitably worry about two things after a diagnosis: first, whether they’re going to be ok, and second, how much care will cost them. Since doctors only have so much time and resources to diagnose individual patients, the insights KenSci offers can provide a more in-depth diagnosis process than many patients could otherwise afford. I loved the way Sunny puts it:
“Physicians and health systems have too much data and too little time. We challenged ourselves to rethink how we can help Clinical and Operational teams use data they already have and deliver better outcomes rapidly. Once we bring together care, cost and operational data, the opportunities to innovate via predictive analytics multiply. “
– Sunny Neogi, Head of Marketing and Growth, KenSci
And finally, Combinostics is a Finnish company founded in 2014 who develops and markets advanced tools for data-driven diagnostics. Its founders are well versed in clinical decision support and have a strong background in finding biological markers that indicate diseases. Their unique technology is deployed as a software-as-a-service offering running on Microsoft Azure for data-driven diagnostics, for example, to specifically target Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, frontal temporal dementia, and dementia arising from defects in lower brain structures.
Their machine learning system compares a patient’s data profile with that of their database of patients with confirmed diseases to quickly and efficiently fingerprint and index disease state. Their powerful technology can then provide the user with information about which disease is likely to occur and how far the disease has progressed. While their Disease State Fingerprint/Disease State Index technology is not a “black box,” it does provide a compact overview of all the available data and presents that information in a visual format that allows physicians to better understand how biomarkers and test results for their patient fit into different disease categories.
“Our technology is based on several years of research in medical image processing and also in machine learning methods for diagnosis of neurogenerative diseases. From the feedback we got during our time at VTT (Technical Research Centre in Finland), it became clear that these types of services may be very relevant in the future. This prompted us to start a new company around these topics.”
-Jussi Mattila, Head of Research and Development, Combinostics
It is digital transformation examples like these that inspire me and make a difference in patients’ lives and in the industry as a whole. Microsoft partners have a massive role to play in every aspect of the healthcare industry – and the very first step is determining your specialty. With technology changing so rapidly, it’s amazing to see what our partners are capable of today and in the future. I look forward to hearing your story too!
How do you see your company taking advantage of the partner opportunity in the healthcare vertical? Share your thoughts in the comments below.