Healthcare and Tech Partnerships Accelerate

June 5, 2019

What UCLA Health’s partnership with Microsoft means.

To analyze big data and increase its precision medicine efforts, UCLA Health is adopting Microsoft Azure cloud as a standard platform, and healthcare executives should take notice, according to one expert.

“Healthcare executives should absolutely pay attention to these types of experiments,” says Florian Quarré, chief digital officer for Ciox, a health technology company located in Alpharetta, Georgia. “Healthcare’s business and operating models of the future are being defined right now, and understanding the shifting pressure points and how their organizations can participate in the evolving ecosystem is primordial for them to take a lead role in this transformation, quickly adopt the new standards enabling targeted patient care, or be pushed aside.”

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Quarré says that regardless of whether we consider precision medicine as treatments protocols for “patients-of-1” or, in the case of the UCLA team, dynamic workflows to tailor coordination of care leading to personalized and greater patient outcomes, “all rely on the idea that, first, the vast majority of patients’ health information is stored in isolation,” he says. “Second, even when pulled together, traditional methods in data analytics are not sufficient anymore for timely decision making. Federation of health information and the use of exponential technologies such as AI are part of the new toolbox to bring healthcare to its next stage.”

There’s been a drastic acceleration of these collaborations in healthcare, according to Quarré. Technology players are giving significant lift to care providers and researchers to drastically improve their operations,” he says. “What is unique, however, is that the UCLA team recognizes a need to better serve their patients, and is willing to partner with a leading technology company, complementing each other in terms of skill sets, to create a test bed to validate hypotheses, learn from trials and errors, and report back to the community what can be done differently to get closer to a state of health over sick care. Pure technology players working with pure healthcare players to try and crack some of the most pervasive problems we experience.”

Some of those collaborations include: Seattle’s Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center/Amazon Comprehend Medical for cancer data curation and Google’s sister company Verily partnerships with pharmaceutical makers for clinical trials enrollment.