Microsoft has announced a number of additions to Office 365. These are new Microsoft Teams functions for the healthcare sector, designed to facilitate virtual healthcare. Also, some patient management functions have been added to Azure.

Teams will have a new app called Bookings, which healthcare professionals can use to schedule virtual appointments with patients via the service’s built-in video conferencing system. The coronavirus outbreak could lead to more hospitals embracing this strategy. Bookings allows physicians to view upcoming virtual appointments in a calendar in the Microsoft Teams interface. From the same calendar, they can schedule new appointments and automatically send patients reminders prior to a check-up.

Microsoft Teams is also used by healthcare providers to coordinate personal care. With this in mind, Microsoft adds a feature to the service that allows medical professionals to have their messages automatically sent to the physician on duty at any time. The goal is to free up time currently spent “trying to identify the right contact information for healthcare professionals,” explains Microsoft Corporate Vice President Emma Williams.

Azure

In addition to the Microsoft Teams update, the company enhances the Azure API for FHIR. This is an application programming interface that enables healthcare organisations to import electronic medical records stored in the FHIR format into Azure. Microsoft is in the process of rolling out an integration that makes it possible to directly export health records from that cloud platform to Power BI, the data visualisation and analysis tool. The company has also developed a second integration, the IoMT FHIR Connector, which can be used to import data from medical devices into Azure in the same FHIR format.