Skype for Business capabilities extended with new Virtual Health Templates

Microsoft has announced today a new set of templates aimed at extending Skype for Business capabilities for use in the healthcare sector.

In a post on the Office Blog, Andrew Bybee, principal Group Program Manager for the Skype for Business team, emphasized the constant search for innovation by modern healthcare providers. Office 365, with its Skype for Business Online component, alleviates communication obstacles, helping speed up the building of what the software giant dubs “virtual consult experiences”.

To further help make the phenomenon of telemedicine a widespread practice, the company has shared a set of developer tools called Virtual Health Templates. These integrate with the Skype for Business SDKs announced last year, which are powered by Office 365 and Skype for Business Online. By using all these components, developers can create “web and mobile experiences that integrate presence, chat, audio and video with custom business experiences.”

Some providers have already started using these tools. For example, Lonnie Buchanan, director of Enterprise Architecture at Intermountain Healthcare, notes that:

“Since introducing telemedicine, built on Office 365 and Skype for Business SDKs, we have seen a nearly 40 percent decrease in mortality rates in our Critical Care TeleHealth Program. We currently see an average of 361 patients per day via Skype across all programs, and are continuing to invest in our telehealth practice to meet the evolving needs of our providers and patients.”

CareFlow, RingMD, Cambio (with its Cambio COSMIC EMR - Electronic Medical Record) as well as GE Healthcare (with its Virtual Office Visits implementation of these tools) are some of the other partners who have had success harnessing the power of the Virtual Health Templates.

More information on implementation, including documentation and sample code, can be found at dev.office.com/skype.

Source: Office Blog | Image: Microsoft

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