Announcing Azure Healthcare APIs

Today, Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare expands our portfolio of interoperability data services for the health and life science industries. In October 2019, Microsoft became the first cloud with a fully managed first-party service to share structured health data in the native FHIR format with the. record, store and manage Azure API for FHIR. Today we are expanding our health data services to allow the exchange of multiple types of data in FHIR format. That’s why we’re renaming our services to Azure Healthcare APIs.

Specifically designed to meet the unique needs of Protected Health Information (PHI), the Azure Healthcare APIs enable customers to ingest, manage and retain data in the Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare. Anyone who works with health data can use the Healthcare APIs to merge different PHI sets and consistently connect them to tools for machine learning, analysis and AI.

Make data from the real world accessible

“Give me all prescribed medications and all CT scan documents and associated X-ray reports for any patient over 45 who has been diagnosed with osteosarcoma in the past 2 years.”

The above explanation is a common request from health data managers. It can come from clinical research doctors or data scientists, but we’ve heard from many that these types of queries, especially large databases, can take months to process. Why? Since most healthcare systems need to query multiple data stores that do not speak the same language, then extract the data files and finally work on unifying them in a batch for the user. Structured data such as drugs, diagnoses and patient attributes can be stored in pharmaceutical or EHR databases, CT scans are saved in DICOM format, and radiology reports can be saved as unstructured text. If all the data is retrieved, the information will be out of date.

Azure Healthcare APIs allow you to fill out search and customizable queries like the one above in minutes. When you ingest and transform data from your record systems through Azure Healthcare APIs, the data is unified to create a longitudinal patient record with real-time data that is collected and stored in a consistent manner according to common health data standards for multiple types of health data:

  • Structured inputs such as clinical records in HL7 or C-CDA, data from medical devices, services such as HealthKit and Google Fit or genome databases can be recorded, transformed and mapped to FHIR.
  • Unstructured data can be mapped to natural language processing algorithms, such as: Text analysis for health to annotate data from clinical notes or text documents and structure them in FHIR so that they can be displayed together with structured clinical data.
  • Image data in DICOM formats can be recorded via an API gateway, and DICOMCast technology extracts relevant metadata from images and assigns them to patient records in FHIR.
  • Biometric data from devices can be ingested through our Azure IoT Connector for FHIR and can provide care teams with vital information on health trends to enable timely interventions and remote care.

Enable real data to provide evidence from the real world

Looking to the future of the healthcare industry, enabling searchability in your captured systems is a powerful place to start, but Azure Healthcare APIs go beyond data ingestion and management to accelerate your capabilities with data in the cloud. Clinical inputs can be mixed with other patient-based “big data” sets such as social determinants of health. As real data plays an increasingly important role in healthcare decisions, Azure Healthcare APIs enable your data to support real-world evidence pipelines such as: B. Support for coverage decisions, pipelines for clinical trials and observational studies.

Azure Healthcare APIs give you control over where your data is going and how it is accessed through role-based access control. Optimized connectors enable the fast export of data for deep learning and AI frameworks into Azure Data Science VMs or Azure Synapse. If you prepare data for secondary use, Anonymization tools allow you to quickly anonymize mixed data sets and quickly set up workspaces for research. Data science workloads are simplified with automated methods of encryption, replacement, crypto-hash, interference, date shifting, and generalization, and templates are available for expert use.

Transform your organization through practical measures

We’re excited to make AI evolving with health data easier, but even more important to the future of healthcare is how it can scale with Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare. As you get new insights into your data, you can quickly reconnect your data and AI spending to the systems your frontline teams use via FHIR APIs or SMART on FHIR. That means putting your data in the hands of your team to unearth new avenues, innovate, and deliver actionable actions that transform the way you promote health.

Strengthening our partners and customers

The most exciting thing about today’s announcement is the speed of innovation and the impact our partners and customers are finding in Azure Healthcare APIs technology. Slawek Kierner, SVP of Enterprise Data & Analytics, and Cille Kissel, Lead Product Manager, both at Humana and Dr. Casey Taylor of John Hopkins University will meet us at HIMSS this week to share the powerful transformation they are driving in their organizations and in their research using Azure Healthcare APIs.

Make more of your health data in the cloud

Put simply, Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare enables healthcare organizations to get more from their data. Whether it’s transforming the patient experience, creating collaborative workspaces for research teams, or quickly connecting to powerful analytics and visualization tools, it all starts with Azure Healthcare APIs.
Activate your data for the future of health innovation.


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