Transforming Hospital Systems: The Digital Future of Healthcare

Grace Lanni, Dr Gregg Lucksinger, ____ Grohol, Michael Kennedy
I walk in just as the panelists are introducing themselves.
Kennedy’s from Microsoft, so naturally what he talks about is what Microsoft is doing for Healthcare, such as handling online medical records. The Microsoft system is called [HealthVault](
Dr Lucksinger demonstrates how he uses Microsoft technology, writing on tablets that can actually read doctors’ handwriting. Doctors can look up medical conditions on their devices. What is interesting is that when certain symptoms are recorded for one patient, the system can alert doctors of a rare condition which they may not have spotted themselves. The system also sends reminders to doctors.
From what I’ve heard so far, the panel has been OK but appears to be Microsoft-oriented. I would have liked to hear what Google is doing for health, but obviously we wouldn’t expect rivals to discuss each other.
Grohol: Other ways are online assessments, e.g. asking 5 questions to indicate if you may have depression. More complex systems use logic and decision trees to help the clinician provide possible diagnoses, treatment goals and follow-up. The doctor sees all this but the patient doesn’t. The system helps the doctor save time.
The first questioner notes that Microsoft is not famous for its security. And the systems it builds are more for corporations. Kennedy responds that Microsoft has improved dramatically in security and privacy. (That makes me raise my eyebrows, seeing how my Dell got hacked so easily a few days ago.) He asks the questioner to “challenge your beliefs” and “read up” because Microsoft has changed significantly and we should base our opinions on the “latest information”. I do not find that answer satisfactory.
Another good question raises again the point that only large companies like Microsoft have the capabilities of developing such advanced systems, thus there is a monopoly. Kennedy replies that there is a third-party developer kit which can be downloaded from the website. That sounds more reasonable.
It’s noted that America doesn’t get much value considering how much it spends on healthcare – it’s ranked among Third World countries. Nobody in the room seems to dispute that.
The mid-sized room is only about half full. It’s quite a specialised topic.


  1. Debbie Brown

    I have heard wonderful comments about the Catalis electronic tablet that does all that you mentioned about plus some. And it isn’t some giant like Microsoft.

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