The Microsoft Azure platform has many uses, one of which is powering AI technology. Microsoft recently announced the launch of the Azure Health Bot, the next evolution of the Microsoft Healthcare Bot.
The bot can help healthcare organizations diagnose patients faster than ever before, and it is gaining some extra processing power courtesy of Azure.
Introducing the Microsoft Azure Health Bot
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the Microsoft Healthcare Bot has helped various healthcare organizations with triage, symptoms, and patient management.
Organizations such as the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Walgreens, Premera, and Providence are using the Healthcare Bot to improve response times, assist with clinics, answer the tsunami of COVID-related questions, and more.
A lot of that functionality comes from automated bots, which have so far delivered and responded to “close to 1 billion messages to over 80 million people worldwide, spanning 25 countries.”
Now, the Microsoft Healthcare Bot is moving to Microsoft’s cloud computing platform, Azure, which will drastically increase its output and provide healthcare organizations with better development tools, plus enhanced security and compliance offerings.
Azure Health Bot empowers developers in healthcare organizations to build and deploy AI-powered, compliant, conversational healthcare experiences at scale. It combines built-in medical databases with natural language capabilities to understand clinical terminology and can be easily customized to support clinical and operational use cases. The service enables customers’ compliance with industry requirements including HIPAA.
Healthcare providers will be able to switch their existing Microsoft Healthcare Bot developments to the Azure Health Bot platform “seamlessly.”
Furthermore, Microsoft expects to add new capabilities to the Azure Health Bot platform in the short-term, including new templates for COVID-19 vaccines as they arrive and contextual questions and answers for related questions.
Microsoft and COVID-19
Microsoft is one of the many tech companies that have done very well throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
As many services and organizations move to online-only models or are forced to work from home due to national or regional lockdowns, many turn to Microsoft’s litany of tried-and-tested products.
That’s not a slight on Microsoft. There is no evidence they’re exploiting their position as a leading tech company, and it stands to reason that as user numbers and revenues rise, so will the value of Microsoft stock.
Microsoft has had to move swiftly in other areas, too. For example, boosting Microsoft Teams to hold 1,000 concurrent users was an important move toward the end of 2020, allowing larger teams and organizations to chat simultaneously.