Microsoft Health Users Group Innovation Awards – Call for Entries

Dear HealthBlog readers.

For the first time in more than a decade, I won’t be attending HIMSS this year.  I’ll certainly miss seeing so many of my friends and colleagues who make the annual trek to what is unquestionably one of the leading Health IT conferences in the world.  The reason I won’t be attending is because I will be taking a sabbatical from my work here at Microsoft in March and April of this year.  I’ll be providing more information about that later in the month as well as who’ll be filling my shoes here on HealthBlog while I’m away. In the meantime, I wanted to share this information about the Microsoft Health Users Group annual innovation awards. If you are fast on the draw, it’s not too late to enter.  See below.

It’s that time of year again for the members of the Microsoft Health Users Group (HUG) to submit nominations for the 16th annual Microsoft HUG Innovation Awards. This is a special opportunity to showcase how your customer or your own organization is using technology to improve the quality of patient care, reduce costs, streamline clinical and business processes and enable better informed decisions. The Microsoft HUG Awards are our opportunity to shine a light on the companies that addressed industry challenges in innovative ways.

Last year we honored:

  • Vectorform and Massachusetts General Hospital for the development of the Virtual Colonoscopy (VC) Viewer, a multi-touch, HPC-cloud-based virtual colonoscopy viewer that allows physicians to interact with a 3-D rendering of a patient’s colon. The VC Viewer relies on Windows Azure to translate a series of CT scans of the patient’s abdomen into a 3-D representation, which is then saved to Microsoft HealthVault.
  • Pluralsoft and the Colorado Community Managed Care Network for their work building the Colorado Associated Community Health Information Enterprise (CACHIE), a clinical quality reporting and analysis solution used to manage chronic diseases and preventive care. CACHIE leverages Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2, Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2, Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 and others to improve data-driven processes and enable faster information delivery.
  • Sogeti Svergie AB and the County Council Of Norbotten for employing an in-house Healthcare Enterprise System, VIS-Care, which leverages Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 to deliver a complete information system to each hospital and medical center.
  • Endomondo, a social sports and fitness network with community tools that enable people worldwide to engage around their passions for living healthy lives. Available as a Windows app, Endomondo leverages Bing maps for real-time GPS tracking of training progress and enables users to measure their distance covered, compete with friends and send friends pep-talks that are read aloud in real-time.

This year we’ve updated the award categories to reflect the evolving industry. The awards continue to honor innovative ways partners and customers are leveraging Microsoft technology to impact patient engagement, optimize electronic medical records and infrastructure solutions.


  • Innovation in Patient Engagement: Technology continues to play an increasing role in how we communicate with and incentivize patients to take better care of their health. This award will honor innovative caregiver collaboration, chronic condition management, case management and eligibility, patient relationship management or interoperability programs that leverage Microsoft technologies.  
  • Innovation in Electronic Medical Record Optimization: Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) can help improve patient care, enhance care quality, and boost operational performance. This award will honor novel business process optimization, business analytics or EMR programs that have improved efficiency, quality of care or reduced costs. 
  • Innovation in Infrastructure Optimization: Our customers and partners are using Microsoft technologies to streamline communications, simplify management and improve services in a safe and secure manner. This award category will highlight an example of innovative uses of performance and patient flow management or cloud solutions. 
  • Innovation in Flexible Mobile Workstyle Solutions: With the launch of Windows 8 last year, partners and customers are building innovative Enterprise and Consumer apps to deliver efficiencies, reduce costs and enable consumers to better manage their health. This category will honor an exciting project in this area. 
  • Open Innovation: This category is for innovative solutions that don’t fit into the others.

We encourage hospitals, health systems, clinics, group practices, public health organizations and health plans to submit nominations that share how they developed and implemented a solution based on the latest Microsoft technology - either independently or with a technology partner. The award emphasizes the innovative application of software and the creation of new solution. We’re looking for companies that have really created a breakthrough in technology and have made a significant business impact using our technology and we’re looking forward to reading your stories.

Think you have something that sounds like a fit? Have a solution you’d like to share? Find out more about the award submissions and download the official entry form.  The deadline for entry is Friday, February 8th at 5:00PM PST.

Bill Crounse, MD                      Senior Director, Worldwide Health                 Microsoft

Comments (2)
  1. Carlos Reynes MD says:

    Can you provide an update on where we are with using Kinect and Xbox directly for health applications?

  2. hlthblog says:

    Dr. Reynes,

    There is a lot of activity for both Kinect for Xbox 360 and Kinect for Windows in health and fitness. There are dozens of commercial games now on the market to improve fitness, help people lose weight, or reduce stress. Likewise there are scores of companies that are working on commercial applications using Kinect (for Windows) for physical medicine and rehabilitation, touch-less navigation of PACS and other clinical systems, and for monitoring the safety of seniors in their homes. Some examples include,, and .

    Bill Crounse, MD

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