Satya Nadella, CEO Microsoft unveils the company’s focus on healthcare

Microsoft launches Skype Lite app, which can be well utilised in public health

‘Digitisation is not just about innovation. It is about shifting gears to the whole new way of working and above all, it is about keeping your business ahead of the curve.’ This was the message delivered at the recent held two-day tech-business convention-Future Decoded organised by Microsoft. The event was recently held in Mumbai. The conclave attracted experts from various industries who deliverated on ways and means to transform their businesses using digital technologies such as cloud computing, artificial intellegences, IoT etc. The event also had a focussed Immersive Zones for invitees to engage with businesses who have digitally transformed their businesses. The convention focussed on three key aspects:

  • Inspiring the digital business
  • Designing the digital business
  • Building the digital business

During the two days, experts spoke on various technologies that can provide individual businesses, industries and the society a whole lot of benefits. Out of which digital transformation in healthcare was an important topic of discussion. Right from cloud computing, IoT to artificial intelligence, experts seemed to be gung ho about the idea of utilising these technologies to make healthcare delivery accessible to all and of high quality standards.

Microsoft who has been the organiser of this event also made a series of India-focussed announcements. Prior to this event, Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft, met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, assuring the government of its initiatives in healthcare and education. Nadella also participated in a round table at NITI Aayog, tapping into cloud computing for good governance in the country.

Dr Sangeeta Reddy

During the event, Dr Sangeeta Reddy, Joint MD, Apollo Hospitals spoke of how technology is redefining healthcare in India. She began with quoting the latest NASSCOM report that speakes about digital technology to fuel India’s growth by 3X. Referring to the impact of digital technology in healthcare she pointed out, “Technology is influencing procedures in healthcare drastically.” Speaking about Apollo’s vision to transform healthcare delivery in India she said, “We’re looking at healthcare access differently. There is a paradigm shift in terms of healthcare delivery. We’re moving from a sick-care model to a preventive care model. Moreover, the point of care is shifting from the hospital to the clinic and now even at home. Today its a known empowered ecosystem right from the doctors to nurses, to patients and even Asha workers. With artificial intelligence and machine learning, we can scale at skill level to ensure better healthcare for everyone, even those in remote areas,” points out Reddy.

Referring to the importance of Big data in healthcare she went on to say that integrated healthcare delivery system is the need of the hour.

Nadella during his keynote address on day two of Future Decoded, spoke about Microsoft’s enterprise initiatives in India with a focus on cloud-computing for enterprises and government organisations. “Technology is everybody’s business. It is shaping the private sector, the public sector and shaping every life. Our mission is to empower every person, every organisation on the planet to achieve more. It has a deep sense of meaning for us,” he expressed.

He also spoke about his vision to metamorphose the Indian healthcare arena. “We need to talk very eloquently of what is happening in healthcare because of technology,” he conveyed.

Sharing his experience he stated, “I had a chance to meet an entrepreneur who is reshaping healthcare. This entrepreneur is using data as a natural resource to reshape diagnostic capabilities.”

N Chandrababu Naidu

Explaining this further he said, “The fact that an health problem can be predicted in advance will reshape the cost curve of healthcare. Even monitoring diabetes in a real time manner can reshape healthcare. And all that is possible with the help of technologies such as AI and cloud services. So, this entrepreneur has been able to utilise these services rich in data making it available for any hospital to deploy them. This is the kind of entreprenial spirit and energy that India has.”

Nadella also mentioned that the healthcare sector in India is therefore one of the sector that they would be closely watching and investing in. Further, he spoke of their partnership with Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra government. Using Microsoft’s Kaizala platform, the AP government has been able to empower the public and private sector. The platform has also facilitated governance in public health and provided access to healthcare services to many in the rural areas.

He also mentioned their partnership with players such as Apollo, Fortis and LV Prasad Eye Institute. Moreover, Nadella informed that through their partnership with the Government of Maharashtra they have touched 32 villages in the state and help track the IMR rate within the state.

Furtheron, Nadella announced a new Skype Lite app for the Indian market, which will be available only on Android for now. This app can be  uitlised in healthcare as well.

On the sidelines of this event, Microsoft also organised a round table discussion on enhancing e-governance with the help of Kaizala. Government officials from the education sector, health sector, administration, municipal corporations were present. Rajendra Pratap Gupta, Advisor to the Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare. Government of India who was also  present for the discussion said, “We cannot undermine the role of technology in enhancing our work and create more efficiencies within our system. Certainly technologies can be an important tool to bring about good governance in healthcare.”