Microsoft unites with Google, Amazon, and more for healthcare interoperability

Microsoft has shown its commitment to revolutionizing the healthcare industry in recent times. The tech giant launched a new podcast series last month centered around the future of healthcare. In the days that followed, the firm partnered up with Providence St. Joseph Health to deploy AI healthcare tech.

Today, Microsoft has made a joint announcement with other cloud providers including Amazon, Google, IBM, Oracle, and Salesforce, that reaffirms its commitment to healthcare interoperability. It further builds upon the collaboration that began last year, with a focus on how it has developed since then.

Microsoft has noted its continuing support for open source software in the healthcare community, as well as for the introduction of collaborative solutions across the industry. The company has also highlighted how it has integrated health data interoperability in the Azure cloud and helped developers create health apps like the Azure API for FHIR (Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources) with ease.

Peter Lee, CVP of Microsoft Healthcare, commented at this occasion, noting:

"This cross-industry effort is tremendously important for the future of healthcare and technology. Microsoft is heavily engaged and actively contributing through open source and open standards such as HL7 FHIR, and by building health data interoperability into the core of our cloud services. Our work is focused on bringing developers together to collaborate and more easily build data-rich health solutions that move the industry forward."

Other companies involved in the agreement have created several open-source tools as well, including Google's FHIR protocol buffers, IBM's Apache Spark service, and more. The joint venture has also led to the development of new specifications as per Health Level Seven (HL7) standards. New global health-tracking systems and better coordinated care are some of the other advantages that have emerged from this partnership. Essentially, all the aforementioned has been made possible through frictionless exchange of health data, and a high level of interoperability.

As such, the firms plan to continue improving the FHIR ecosystem, working with a forward-thinking API strategy and an open-source-first approach.

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