Steve Aylward – General Manager for Health & Life Sciences, Microsoft®

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Steve Aylward, General Manager for Health and Life Sciences at Microsoft® discusses with EHRtv™ the future of Microsoft. Microsoft understands that the healthcare industry needs to make drastic improvements in sharing electronic medical records (EMR) across environments. Therefore, Microsoft believes that they are able to contribute.

Category: ACE 09, EHR Press, Featured
Date: October 10, 2009
Views:15,230 views
Information: Allscripts™ has worked with Microsoft since its inception and has developed the majority of its solutions using Microsoft products. Allscripts has also endorsed Windows Mobile® and hopes to provide Allscripts Remote™ for Windows Mobile in the near future. Microsoft has also produced its personal health record (PHR) solution, HealthVault™, which was showcased at the Allscripts Client Experience (ACE) 09. HealthVault is free to everyone in the U.S. and hopes to succeed by making the personal health record (PHR) system worldwide. Current Microsoft initiatives include healthcare centric search or, cloud computing, and healthcare.

Steve Aylward, General Manager for Health and Life Sciences – Microsoft

Time: 8:16

Steve Aylward, General Manager for Health and Life Sciences at Microsoft® discusses with EHRtv™ the future of Microsoft. Microsoft understands that the healthcare industry needs to make drastic improvements in sharing electronic medical records (EMR) across environments. Therefore, Microsoft believes that they are able to contribute.


Eric Fishman MD: This is Dr. Eric Fishman with Steve Aylward, General Manager for Health Care and Life Sciences for Microsoft. Steve, can you tell us a bit about Microsoft who’s got a significant involvement in the healthcare industry at this point and time. Start maybe at a high level and then we’ll drill down to some of the more intimate details.

Steve Aylward: Sure, I’d be happy to, Eric. When you look at our presence over the last number of years, we’ve really gone from kind of a niche player within the health space to covering not just physicians and hospitals, but also health plans and life sciences as well as the consumer environment. When you think about it, I think all of us got into health care in one manner, shape or form for one reason which was to improve health for our patients and to improve care across the globe. In my prior occupation, I didn’t think I had as much of an opportunity to do that where it was specifically directed at, let’s say, a provider level. Now, with the opportunity to have this role and responsibility at Microsoft, (I have) the ability to really see how providers and plans and life sciences and consumers all need to share information. I think we’d all agree that while there’s many areas that need improvement, being able to share that information across those different environments is one of the areas clearly where Microsoft can contribute and I think we’re starting to have that impact.

Eric Fishman MD: You know a bit about that. Now, we’re at the Allscripts client experience and tell us about the relationship between Microsoft and Allscripts if you would.

Steve Aylward: Allscripts is one of the really early software vendors --we refer to them as independent software vendors -- who’s developed the vast majority of their solutions using Microsoft products. So one of the first things that they did coming out the box was to endorse Windows Mobile, as an example, on a cell phone to be able to support that as a platform and have that roll out to end users, whether they be physicians or clinicians of any stripe.

Eric Fishman MD: I don’t meant to interrupt but in the keynote speech yesterday, Glen Tullman mentioned that in the near future, they would have Allscripts remote available for Windows Mobile.

Steve Aylward: Right. There was quite a lot of applause. Yeah, I saw Stanley demonstrating to you earlier what was being done with Windows Mobile. That’s just one --

Eric Fishman MD: Not to interrupt but a lot of interest in that particular area.

Steve Aylward: It’s phenomenal. When you think about how the form factors are changing in terms of how all of us, but particularly patients, access or can access their health information. It’s not just about the computer anymore, it’s about smaller form factors like hand-held’s, like a cell phone which Windows Mobile runs on, or a television or what we showed in one of our breakout sessions, like a surface device. Think of a kiosk but in a coffee table format that has full touch screen capabilities that could download information from a personalized health record as an example and could be shared with other family members or a physician.

Eric Fishman MD: Let’s talk about the Microsoft PHR, HealthVault. Tell us about how it’s been progressing, if it’s going according to schedule and what the vision is for the next year or two.

Steve Aylward: Okay. There are a number of things going on at HealthVault. There are initiatives, both in the US and then worldwide, Eric that I think is kind of important to make that distinction. In the US, the HealthVault model is one where we’re not charging anybody for access to either develop solutions for HealthVault or to be able to use it. It’s free to the end customer as well. The business model, there’s really advertising driven from the web site. When you go on our search engine such as Bing, as an example, and you look at health information, the idea is that’s generating revenue through ads that people would click on given whatever information it is that they’re looking for. The rest of the world however, we think there’s a real model for HealthVault to become a personalized health record, specifically at an individual basis. Many governments are being able to look at the opportunity of using HealthVault plus other technologies to be able to make that available to their citizens. We think HealthVault can have a role in that. Telus, the telecom organization up in Canada, is sponsoring HealthVault for Canadian citizens to do exactly that. That was the first such announcement that was made just a few months back.

Eric Fishman MD: Is it public information how many patients are using HealthVault at this point and time?

Steve Aylward: It’s not. We still have really kept it not so much at the consumer level. We’re gearing up to the point where we’re signing up partners to be able to deliver applications and develop applications out to consumers. So it’s really a partner play for us at this point, not so much from a consumer standpoint but anybody can go on and create an account and begin to play with it.

Eric Fishman MD: Can you tell us about some of the functionality that the partners are adding to it?

Steve Aylward: Primarily right now the first thing that we started with was the capability to do medical device integration. So if you think of patients with chronic diseases -- diabetes is probably a good example-- the issues of trying to store glucose levels and share those glucose levels with the physician at different times of day, it’s pretty easy to transpose characters and misinterpret information. The idea is through a device like a glucometer --

Eric Fishman MD: And these are downloaded automatically?

Steve Aylward: Downloaded right into your HealthVault account. So you can download it through a simple USB connection to a PC or a sonar rfid enabled radio frequency, there’s a number of ways that the data can get there but the idea is it’s electronically downloaded.

Eric Fishman MD: And it’s available accurately in real time to the physician?

Steve Aylward: Accurate in real time, correct. Then you can enable any end users. In my case, my wife has access to my HealthVault account so she can see data relative to me.

Eric Fishman MD: So she doesn’t need it?

Steve Aylward: Well, when she wants to check and see what my cholesterol levels are doing, she can see that from my last lab test because my physician will send those lab results directly into my HealthVault account. So that’s all available today but the real focus has been applications that have been developed for HealthVault as well as device integration.

Eric Fishman MD: Steve, it’s an interesting time to be doing this. What else do you expect to be happening from Microsoft in the next year or two?

Steve Aylward: You know, it’s funny. I think most people, let’s call it a layman perspective who are outside of technology and even maybe many in technology, don’t really associate Microsoft and healthcare together.

Eric Fishman MD: That’s true but I think that’s in the past maybe not in the future.

Steve Aylward: Well, I think it’s been said by our CEO, Steve Ballmer, a number of times that the three biggest bets that we’re making in the near term as a company are around our Bing launch that we just did last month, around cloud computing – being able to host applications on behalf of our customers -- and then specifically called out healthcare as the major vertical that we’re investing in.

Eric Fishman MD: I’m glad to hear that.

Steve Aylward: There’s obvious reasons for that. Look here at the AACE conference.

You’ve got 3,000 people. I’ve been in the healthcare industry for about 16 years now and that’s the largest user conference I’ve seen. There’s obviously a lot of buzz around what Allscripts is doing, hopefully a little bit about what we’re doing with Allscripts but I think moreover, it’s just interest from the physician community in terms of their ability and need to get access to information and how they can adopt PHR’s and EMR's.

Eric Fishman MD: If you want to call it $19 billion or $35 billion at least if you’re not in Washington, that’s a lot of money.

Steve Aylward: Right.

Eric Fishman MD: Anything else that you’d like to add?

Steve Aylward: I think it’s an enormous opportunity that we just had to share with a number of folks in a breakout of some of the kind of unique ways that we’re implementing technology. I know I mentioned Bing a couple of times but I’d encourage people to go on and do a health-related search. Just go out and check diabetes. Go check hypertension and see the differences that you may notice specifically in Bing versus other search engines.

Eric Fishman MD: And a little plug, I look at the people who are landing on EHRtv and there’s a substantial number of people searching at Bing. I noticed that.

Steve Aylward: Interesting, interesting. That’s great to hear. But it’s a huge opportunity for us I think to really improve the way that health is delivered in this country and in the world which is why we’re doing it. There’s also just an incredible opportunity for us as more technology gets deployed, more physicians get off of paper and get onto an electronic record that ideally drives a lot of our solutions as well. That’s what we’re here at ACE sharing with everyone.

Eric Fishman MD: Steve, thank you.

Steve Aylward: Eric, thank you very much.

Eric Fishman MD: Appreciate it. Steve Aylward: Thanks.

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