New tools announced this week enable Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare users to access, analyze and visualize data-driven insights across their organization through Fabric architecture, find multilingual support for text analytics, and leverage three new artificial intelligence models in Azure.
The cloud provider also said more users will have the chance to try Azure AI Health Bot, a generative artificial intelligence assistant that can glean information from unstructured text, while select partners using Fabric will have a chance to preview de-identification services.
WHY IT MATTERS
Microsoft announced Tuesday that new data and AI capabilities will help healthcare organizations improve patient experiences, gain new insights and better secure health information, and also lay the groundwork for a unified approach to healthcare data and organizational AI strategies.
“Healthcare data continues to grow rapidly, and organizations are struggling to keep up with higher volume, greater variety and increased velocity,” Alysa Taylor, corporate vice president of Azure + Industry, said in the company’s blog Tuesday.
Text Analytics for health service can now extract meaningful insights in six languages besides English – Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Hebrew.
Machine learning-driven de-identification services in Microsoft Fabric and Azure Health Data Services now provide healthcare organizations with the ability to anonymize medical data extracted from clinical notes, messages or clinical trial studies while retaining its clinical relevance and adhering to HIPAA privacy requirements.
The AI automatically extracts, redacts or surrogates more than 30 entities from unstructured text, including HIPAA’s 18 protected health information identifiers.
In the future, Microsoft said it plans to add de-identification services for structured, imaging and medtech data.
With the expansion of the Azure AI Health Bot, more healthcare organizations on the cloud can create tailored generative AI chatbot experiences for administrative and clinical workloads, and for patient experiences.
Three new built-in models in Azure AI Health Insights available to preview create patient timelines based on clinical data and evidence, provide patient-friendly versions of clinical notes and reports, and improve radiology workflows, Taylor said.
THE LARGER TREND
Microsoft has embarked on a number of AI partnerships with healthcare organizations in recent months.
Late last month, Mayo Clinic announced physicians and other clinical staff at the health system would be testing new generative AI applications as part of the Microsoft 365 Copilot Early Access Program.
Exploring ways to combine LLMs with productivity apps could reduce provider burden.
“Using AI-powered tech will enhance Mayo Clinic’s ability to lead the transformation of healthcare while focusing on what matters most – providing the best possible care to our patients,” Cris Ross, Mayo’s chief information officer, said in a statement.
Dr. David Rhew, global chief medical officer and vice president of Healthcare at Microsoft, said in August that another partnership with Duke Health is looking at how to operationalize responsible AI principles.
The purpose is to help “ensure that AI is deployed safely, effectively and in an unbiased and transparent manner,” he said in a statement.
ON THE RECORD
“In the new era of AI, the importance of data continues to grow as organizations realize that without a solid data strategy, they are only scratching the surface of what’s possible with AI,” Taylor said in the announcement.
Andrea Fox is senior editor of Healthcare IT News.
Healthcare IT News is a HIMSS Media publication.