University Hospitals says it can save lives with tech-based concierges aimed at men

Cleveland-based University Hospitals is employing Microsoft technology and health concierges called "Joes" to get male patients more involved with their healthcare.

The UH Cutler Center for Men built a HIPAA-compliant app to help with tasks such as registration, interaction tracking, calendars and text messaging using the Microsoft Power Apps platform.

"We're seeing that Joes can quickly reference when appointments are taking place and then do the outreach to say, 'Hey, how did that appointment go yesterday,'" said Jennifer Muehle, program manager at the UH Cutler Center for Men, in an April 25 Microsoft blog post. "Things that used to take Joes 25 or 30 minutes are now done in only a couple of minutes."

The center launched thanks to a $15 million donation from Alexander and Sally Cutler and is opening its flagship physical location in mid-2023. It also plans to deploy Microsoft Azure Cognitive Services to further artificial intelligence-based automation.

"Our hypothesis is that with these tools, we will better engage men in healthcare and ultimately save lives. That's what drives us. That's what excites us," Lee Ponsky, MD, executive director of UH Cutler Center for Men, said in the blog post.

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