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The new product helps health care companies to analyze multiple data types simultaneously.

This week Microsoft announced Azure Health Data Services. The new service aims to bring in data from clinical, imaging, and medical technology APIs. The goals is so that users can view them together in data visualizations.

The launch comes as many health providers struggle to manage — and make use of — data across their organizations. According to a 2019 survey from the Society of Actuaries, only 60% of health care executives are using predictive analytics within their practices. This is despite the technology’s potential to cut costs and improve patient satisfaction.

Another recent poll found that most health organizations don’t trust their own data. Indeed, 80% told health tech company InterSystems that they lack trustworthy and interoperable data. This is even though it’s fundamental to making clinical decisions.

“We built Azure Health Data Services to address the industry’s distinctive needs to deliver better insights and care,” Cartwright told VentureBeat via email. “Health care organizations generate a tremendous amount of data every second… Our industry continually seeks ‘interoperability,’ but in reality, health organizations are using disconnected data points to make ad hoc solutions work while larger data sets continue to sit in silos.”

“The good news is that silos of data are a pain point that cloud technology can solve, and as the health industry begins to expand in the cloud, how you bring data into the cloud makes a big difference.”

Expanding visualization while maintaining compliance

“One of the biggest challenges facing the health industry is the sheer volume of data it produces, which is too often unstructured and inaccessible. For most providers, 50% to 90% of their data is siloed, limiting advances in medical treatments and breakthroughs while maintaining regulation compliance,” Cartwright added.

“This not only wastes valuable time on data processing, but also means that the data is unusable for analysis and AI and machine learning at scale. … Azure Health Data Services is purpose-built for personal health information — taking into consideration how data needs to be brought together from disparate sources, while still maintaining compliance boundaries and the privacy of the patients.”