Part of Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare, the new service is a collection of technologies for Protected Health Information (PHI) on the cloud. It helps de-identify data for secondary use, protect data privacy, and generate insights with analytics and AI tools. Heather Jordan Cartwright, vice president of health and life sciences at Microsoft, highlights different use cases:
Whether you’re blending patient data with population health data sets for AI development and analytics, visualizing data for operational efficiencies, deploying patient engagement tools for personalized care, or querying imaging metadata alongside clinical data using our new DICOMcast feature, Azure Health Data Services work with your existing systems.
Azure Health Data Services merges diverse data types in the same data store at the patient level: structured, unstructured, and imaging data can be searched and queried together using a FHIR structure. Cartwright adds an example of a query from a clinical case scenario:
Give me all the medications prescribed and connected home health device data with all the CT Scan documents and their associated radiology reports for any patient older than 45 with a diagnosis of osteosarcoma over the last 2 years.
The service, an evolved version of Azure API for FHIR, offers a FHIR service for the management of clinical data and tools to enable the transformation of data from different formats to FHIR. It includes a DICOM service, DICOMcast technology to extract metadata from DICOM instances, the option to stream data from MedTech devices and the mapping of unstructured data from clinical notes or health documents to FHIR.
Charles Poulsen, healthcare industry CTO at Microsoft Australia, highlights the Interoperability of the solution:
For those of us helping build solutions for digital health care, the release is very exciting for two reasons: 1) it simplifies and brings together several existing offerings around FHIR, HL7, CDA, DICOM, medical IoT data and unstructured data under a single banner 2) it adds new capabilities like integration with Synapse/PowerBI for analytics over FHIR data, and tools to convert unstructured data into FHIR.
Azure Health Data Services pricing is based on structured storage used, provisioned throughput, and service runtime. Existing Azure API for FHIR customers can continue using the product without change in the pricing structure.