Microsoft deepens its presence in healthcare: A timeline

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From acquiring health IT company Nuance for nearly $20 billion to hosting EHR networks on its cloud, Microsoft has deepened its role in healthcare.

Here are the tech giant's moves in healthcare in the last year:

June 30, 2020: Walgreens Boots Alliance, Microsoft and Adobe launched a new digital offering for personalized healthcare and shopping.

July 8, 2020: Microsoft unveiled an artificial intelligence tool for its cloud platform Azure that allows developers to analyze unstructured medical data, including clinical notes, clinical trial protocols and medical publications. 

July 13, 2020: Allscripts announced a five-year extension of its alliance with Microsoft, designating the tech giant as its new cloud provider

July 14, 2020: Google launched a new platform that allows users to directly access data stored in Google Cloud, Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure.

Sept. 15, 2020: Microsoft and Nuance partnered to integrate Nuance's ambient clinical intelligence solutions into Microsoft Teams for improved telehealth workflow and patient experience.

Sept. 22, 2020: Microsoft announced its Cloud for Healthcare, which provides managed services to support healthcare organizations and can store health data in the cloud.

Epic is the first medical record system to integrate the Microsoft Teams connector, which allows clinicians and patients to launch telehealth visits through the platform.

Sept. 28, 2020: Microsoft reported a disruption to its Azure cloud and Office 365 due to a software change and was able to restore it to an earlier version, but the fix didn't restore normal service. Two hours after identifying the issue, Microsoft reported improvement.

Sept. 30, 2020: The Health Equity and Access Leadership Coalition, an initiative aimed at tackling health disparities via technology, with partnerships from entities such as Google, Microsoft, the American Medical Association and Boston Children's Hospital, formed.

Oct. 7, 2020: Microsoft Azure teamed up with the University of California San Francisco, Intel and Fortanix to establish a confidential computing platform that will accelerate the development and validation of clinical algorithms.

Oct. 15, 2020: Microsoft partnered with Children's Mercy Kansas City and biotechnology company Pacific Biosciences of California on a genomic research and tech development project to combat rare diseases.

Dec. 1, 2020: Microsoft and a team of Durham, N.C.-based Duke University researchers developed a ventilator splitting system to help COVID-19 patients in the wake of hospital surges and supply shortages.

Dec. 16, 2020: Allscripts launched its updated EHR platform Sunrise 20.0, which runs on Microsoft's cloud software Azure. 

Jan. 6, 2021: The Washington State Department of Health partnered with Microsoft to launch a COVID-19 vaccine dashboard featuring data on vaccine ordering and administration broken down by county and demographics.

Jan. 7, 2021: The Oklahoma State Department of Health teamed up with Microsoft to release an app that informs people when they are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine and helps them sign up for an appointment.

Jan. 11, 2021: Google sister company Verily inked an agreement with Microsoft to run its biomedical research platform on Microsoft's Azure cloud platform. 

Jan. 14, 2021: Microsoft teamed up with other big tech companies and major hospitals — including Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic, Epic, Cerner, Salesforce, Change Healthcare and Oracle — to form the Vaccination Credential Initiative, a collective working to create a digital, interoperable vaccination record system.

Feb. 3, 2021: Oakland, Calif.-based Kaiser Permanente partnered with Microsoft and IT services company Accenture to transition to Microsoft's Azure cloud platform.

Kirkland, Wash.-based EvergreenHealth and Bellevue, Wash.-based Overlake Medical Center & Clinics teamed up with Microsoft to move their COVID-19 vaccine operations to the tech giant's Redmond, Wash., campus.

Feb. 17, 2021: Humana began piloting a new chronic condition care management program that uses Microsoft's Azure and Power BI cloud technologies to run analytics and data integration.

Feb. 24, 2021: Microsoft said the first update for its Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare will include Epic EHR integration.

Feb. 25, 2021: Pittsburgh-based Carnegie Mellon University partnered with Microsoft and Amazon to develop a machine learning tool to be used in clinical forecasting.

March 19, 2021: Microsoft rolled out a new vaccine management product to fix the technical glitches that were occurring on the company's earlier platform.

April 1, 2021: Microsoft and a team of researchers from the Seattle-based University of Washington partnered to create a platform that captures patient vitals via smartphone camera.

April 12, 2021: Microsoft will buy speech recognition company Nuance Communications in an all-cash transaction valued at $19.7 billion, including debt assumption.

May 5, 2021: Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and his wife, Anu, have committed $15 million to Seattle Children's Hospital to help provide equitable access to care for the community.

May 20, 2021: The University of Washington is teaming up with Microsoft and the Creative Destruction Lab, a nonprofit science and tech program, to launch a collaborative focused on artificial intelligence and biomedical innovations.

May 25, 2021: While Microsoft's $19.7 billion acquisition of speech recognition company Nuance Communications is poised to increase its healthcare footprint, the tech giant says it is not interested in competing with physicians, but in making them more successful.

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