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Strategic Collaboration to Develop and Integrate Generative AI into Healthcare

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 16 May 2023

Top industry experts have underscored the immediate requirement for healthcare systems and hospitals to respond to severe cost and margin pressures. Close to half of U.S. hospitals ended 2022 in the red due to widespread labor shortages and escalating labor costs, as well as supply chain disruptions and inflation, leading to a significant surge in expenses that far surpassed revenue growth. Stakeholders within the industry understand that realizing long-term financial stability via productivity enhancements and technological efficiency is a crucial strategic objective.

Microsoft Corp. (Redmond, WA, USA) and Epic (Verona, WI, USA) have expanded their long-standing strategic collaboration to develop and integrate generative AI into healthcare by combining the scale and power of Azure OpenAI Service with Epic’s electronic health record (EHR) software. The collaboration further expands their ongoing partnership, which includes allowing organizations to run Epic environments on the Microsoft Azure cloud platform. This co-innovation focuses on delivering a comprehensive array of generative AI-powered solutions integrated with Epic’s EHR to enhance productivity, improve patient care, and financially strengthen health systems. Another solution will bring natural language queries and interactive data analysis to SlicerDicer, Epic’s self-service reporting tool, helping clinical leaders explore data in a conversational and intuitive way.

Image: Integration of generative AI into healthcare can increase productivity and enhance patient care (Photo courtesy of Microsoft)
Image: Integration of generative AI into healthcare can increase productivity and enhance patient care (Photo courtesy of Microsoft)

“Our exploration of OpenAI’s GPT-4 has shown the potential to increase the power and accessibility of self-service reporting through SlicerDicer, making it easier for healthcare organizations to identify operational improvements, including ways to reduce costs and to find answers to questions locally and in a broader context,” said Seth Hain, senior vice president of research and development at Epic.

“The urgent and critical challenges facing healthcare systems and their providers demand a comprehensive approach combining Azure OpenAI Service with Epic’s industry-leading technology,” said Eric Boyd, corporate vice president, AI Platform, Microsoft. “Our expanded partnership builds on a long history of collaboration between Microsoft, Nuance and Epic, including our work to help healthcare organizations migrate their Epic environments to Azure. Together we can help providers deliver significant clinical and business outcomes leveraging the power of the Microsoft Cloud and Epic.”

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