Microsoft spots gold in health data amid pandemic


Microsoft’s (MSFT) chief medical officer, David Rhew, has said that the company is working with both public and private partners on its recently launched vaccine platform for cloud and artificial intelligence.

David Rhew underlined the need for the buildout of tech infrastructure to be robust and to be able to track who is receiving vaccines and determine if any focused campaigns are needed to target more uptake and distribution as the medical community tries to track each vial and its usage, and ensure that all ages, income levels and ethnic groups are able to access vaccines.

Vaccine-focused tech infrastructure would include creating a dashboard for each clinical setting where vaccines are being administered, and ensuring numerous avenues to follow-up are available for reminding patients about second doses.

The data collected can also include real-world and updated monitoring of safety data for the vaccines and targeted approaches to help overcome known health disparities among communities.

“There are multiple different, unique aspects that we are finding, unfortunately, current systems don’t have,” Rhew said.

To tackle the issues, Rhew said there’s a high level of partnership between Microsoft, EY, and Accenture (ACN). But, he said, “What we haven’t had the luxury of is time.”

During the recent 2021 JPMorgan Health Care conference, Microsoft announced a new partnership with the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, and Verily, an Alphabet (GOOG, GOOGL) company to accelerate health and life science research through their Terra platform, to increase accessibility to more than 168,000 organizations.

Gregory Moore, corporate vice president of Microsoft Health Next, said in a statement the partnership boosts the use of Azure, the company’s cloud technology.

“Through this partnership, we will apply the power of Microsoft Azure and its enterprise-grade capabilities in security and privacy, along with cutting-edge data and AI solutions like Azure Synapse Analytics, Azure Machine Learning and Azure Cognitive Services, to deliver on the vision of the Terra platform at a new level of scale,” Moore said.