- Blue Shield of California is working with Microsoft to build an integrated cloud-based data hub that will allow the nonprofit payer to collect quicker insights and enable real-time access to member, provider and payer data.
- The hub, which the companies are calling “The Blue Shield Experience Cube,” will run on the Microsoft Azure cloud platform and create an integrated digital health record as its first use case.
- The health record will include data on members’ health conditions, lab results, medications, emergency room visits and plan coverage, according to a press release on the deal.
By using Azure, Blue Shield, a nonprofit member of the Blue Shield Association, aims to achieve quicker access to data in real time to drive coordination of care, care transitions and personalized services for its 4.8 million members, the payer reported.
The announcement is part of a multiyear agreement between Blue Shield and Microsoft. The two companies plan to expand the Experience Cube to include more clinical, care and case management as well as data on healthcare costs, according to the release.
Blue Shield and Microsoft will also work together on artificial intelligence and machine learning applications to further break down healthcare silos.
“Our goal is to create high-tech, high-touch experiences for our members that are holistic and personalized by removing longstanding silos and bringing together data in the cloud,” Lisa Davis, executive vice president and chief information officer at Blue Shield of California, said in a statement.
Blue Shield already migrated an automated software application to Azure and accelerated deployment of a new instance of a core healthcare system by nine months. By deploying another application on Azure, the health plan accelerated complex transaction processing from 70 hours to 90 minutes, according to the release.
Microsoft is competing with other cloud giants like Google and Microsoft for healthcare cloud market share. AWS leads its competitors with 40% of the market, while Microsoft Azure takes 18% of market share and Google Cloud holds 12%, according to ResearchandMarkets.
In April, Microsoft and health IT vendor Epic announced they would expand their partnership by integrating Microsoft’s Azure OpenAI Service into Epic’s electronic health record platform. The two companies plan to increase productivity by incorporating generative AI into EHRs. Microsoft-owned Nuance has also integrated OpenAI’s GPT-4 large language model technology into clinical note-taking software.