I’m writing this today from Sydney, Australia. This past week I’ve been working with my teammates here on something we’re calling the Clinical Mobility Roadshow. On each of the last four days we’ve been hosting a breakfast event in a different city. We started in Sydney on Tuesday and proceeded to host gatherings each day in Brisbane, Adelaide, and Melbourne to round out the week. In each city I provided a keynote address showing how a new generation of robust, touch-friendly, mobile devices are improving clinical workflow for doctors, nurses and other clinicians.
I’ve been coming to Australia for more than a decade. In fact, this is my 10th trip to the region. Over the years, I’ve experienced a growing enthusiasm for IT as a transformative agent in health and healthcare delivery. But I must say that this year is special. In past years more often than not I found myself speaking primarily to IT professionals, healthcare executives and government officials. This year’s events have been quite extraordinary in that more than half of the audience at each stop has consisted of doctors and nurses. We actually had so much interest in our clinical mobility events that we were over-registered by twice our capacity in 3 of the 4 cities we visited. Event staff had to turn down many of those who expressed interest in attending one of our clinical mobility roadshow presentations.
I guess I’m really not all that surprised to see so much interest from clinicians. They’ve waited a long time for device technology to mature enough to meet their needs. And while enthusiasm for the tablet computer form factor in clinical medicine may have started with the iPad, these clinicians are more than ready to move on to devices that truly have enterprise capabilities. Put something like a Surface Pro 3 in the hands of a physician and it’s game over for the iPad. Why? Because this new generation of devices has all the design appeal of the iPad in something that has been built to equally delight both clinicians and enterprise IT professionals. Furthermore, we’re talking about more than Surface devices. There are equally compelling devices from a range of manufacturers in a wide variety of screen sizes, configurations, and price points to meet the needs of the most demanding users.
In each morning’s presentation I showed how these devices are being used in hospitals and clinics. I demonstrated how they can facilitate communication and care team collaboration; how they improve patient engagement; and how they enable scenarios for home monitoring, wellness and chronic disease self-management.
At our Clinical Mobility Roadshow events, we also had great support and participation from some of our partners including Intel, HP, Lenovo, Motion Computing, Advantech, Panasonic, Acer, and Allscripts. Our guests had an opportunity to get some hands-on experience with lots of devices. I’m sure they were amazed by the variety of devices and accessories for clinical computing that have become available within the last year. Intel even hinted about some of the innovations we can expect to see in devices shipping over the next year including wireless charging, wireless USB, and even medical dictation right on the chip set. Wow!
In each city along the way we’ve also held private meetings with hospital and health system customers, healthcare executives, government leaders, and even a large medical insurer. In each session I would ask about what is top of mind for them. Perhaps not surprisingly the answer was always the same; improving healthcare quality and outcomes, improving access to care, and lowering the cost of care. In other words, even here in Australia, they are focused on the so-called triple aim. Small world isn’t it?
My thanks to Dr. Simon Kos (left) who leads our Microsoft health industry business in Australia and the Health Informatics Society Australia-HISA (Greg Moran, right) for their superb assistance in planning our roadshow events. Thanks also to our device & application sponsors and to the entire Microsoft health industry account management staff, technical leads, marketing representatives, industry managers, and so many others who helped pave the way for our Clinical Mobility Roadshow in Australia.
Bill Crounse, MD Senior Director, Worldwide Health Microsoft