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Microsoft Healthcare Bot brings conversational AI to healthcare

Sunday, 10 February 2019  
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Microsoft has announced the general availability of the Microsoft Healthcare Bot in the Azure Marketplace.


The Microsoft Healthcare Bot is a cloud service that powers conversational AI for healthcare. It’s designed to empower healthcare organisations to build and deploy compliant, AI-powered virtual health assistants and chatbots that help them put more information in the hands of their users, enable self-service, drive better outcomes and reduce costs.


The Healthcare Bot service has several unique aspects:

  • Out-of-the-box healthcare intelligence including language models to understand healthcare intents and medical terminology, as well as content from credible providers with information about conditions, symptoms, doctors, medications and even a symptom checker.
  • Customisation and extensibility, which allows partners to introduce their own business flows and securely connect to their own backend systems over HL7 FHIR or REST APIs. The service model allows our partners to focus on the important things like their key business needs and their own flows.
  • Security and compliance with industry standards, such as ISO 27001, ISO 27018, HIPAA, Cloud Security Alliance Gold and GDPR, which we consider as table stakes in this industry. We also provide tools and out-of-the-box functionality that help our partners create secure and compliant solutions.

The close collaboration with our preview partners, including Premera Blue Cross, Quest Diagnostics and Advocate Aurora Heath, helped identify diverse use cases that address the needs and expectations of healthcare organisations.


We now have a better understanding of what’s important to our partners and how to evolve the product by focusing on key differentiating features. For example, we realised the importance of enabling a visual design environment that allows review of the flows by clinical personnel and domain experts who are non-developers. We also evolved our scenario templates catalogue and provided a gallery of example use cases to start from, which allows our partners to develop their bots quickly and inexpensively.


It has been exciting for us to see our partners go live with their chatbots, enhance their chatbots over time and meet their business goals. And in the upcoming months, we will develop the service further.


It’s my opinion that virtual health assistants and chatbot technology will never replace medical personnel. But technology can help make better use of medical personnel’s time and relieve some of the burden from the healthcare system.


Technology is here to enable that. It’s the responsibility of our generation to leverage technology to help solve important problems for humankind.


Source: Hadas Bitran, group manager Microsoft Healthcare Israel, 7 February 2019


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