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Microsoft Augments Teams App to Boost Telehealth Experience

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Microsoft (MSFT - Free Report) recently announced that it has integrated its video communications app, Teams with an ambient clinical intelligence (ACI) solution to boost telehealth consultancy experience for doctors and patients.

Teams App workflows will now have Nuance Communications’ (NUAN - Free Report) Nuance Dragon Ambient eXperience (DAX) solution, which will facilitate a smooth physician-patient conversation. Markedly, DAX is built on Microsoft’s Azure along with Nuance’s Dragon Medical platform.

Nuance’s AI-based healthcare information ACI solution facilitates clinical documentation and is an attempt to alleviate physician burnout, while providing the patient with satisfactory consultation.

The in-built AI will take care of administrative tasks, including updates to a patient’s electronic health record (EHR), but only after obtaining the patient’s permission.

Teams App-ACI integration is a testament to Microsoft’s growing focus on expanding presence in the multi-trillion healthcare sector with innovative solutions. This is likely to boost investors’ confidence in the stock in the days ahead.

Notably, shares of Microsoft, which carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold), have surged 32.4% in the year-to-date period compared with the industry’s rise of 31.1%.

You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Rapid Proliferation Of AI in Healthcare Bodes Well

Emerging ambient intelligence technology is all about infusing intelligence to day-to-day environments, making them receptive to the ongoing activities in the surroundings. Innovation in AI, ML, deep learning, sensor networks, IoT, connected devices are expected to drive utility of ambient intelligence technology.

Moreover, coronavirus crisis has led to a massive spurt in online consultation due to the widespread movement restrictions across the globe. Per a Frost & Sullivan report, telehealth sector is projected to witness a CAGR of 38.2% between 2020 and 2025, due to the pandemic.

Virtual assistants integrated with ACI technology are also expected to witness rapid uptake  in the healthcare sector. Per data from Meticulous Research, healthcare virtual assistants market is expected to hit $1.76 billion in 2025 at a CAGR of 24.7% between 2018 and 2025.

Further, improving AI skills are likely to boost adoption rate of these voice assistants in the clinics, enabling doctors with automated EHR updates. Per Allied Market Report, AI in healthcare is projected to witness a CAGR of 42.8% between 2020 and 2027.

We believe Microsoft’s partnership with Nuance, which is one of the leading ACI solution providers in the healthcare market, favors its growth prospects over the long haul.

Markedly, Microsoft and Nuance collaborated in 2019 to focus on enhancing healthcare delivery by innovating Nuance’s ACI technology.

Microsoft is leveraging Azure’s AI capabilities and EmpowerMD services to strengthen Nuance's healthcare-optimized and ambient intelligence technology driven offerings.

Nuance will also deploy hosted products and on-premise data workloads to Microsoft’s Azure. Notably, Nuance already utilizes Microsoft Office 365.

Competitive Scenario

The growth potential in healthcare industry is alluring all the major tech giants like Alphabet (GOOGL - Free Report) , Amazon (AMZN - Free Report) and International Business Machines Corporation.

Amazon is striving hard to capitalise on the sector’s growth prospects. The company recently floated a health care pilot program to build Neighborhood Health Centers near Amazon fulfilment and operation facilities in alliance with Crossover Health. The company’s telehealth service, Amazon Care which offers online medical consultations, and rapid prescription delivery, is also significant in the healthcare space.

Alphabet’s growing healthcare initiatives are impressive. Last month, the company invested $100 million in telehealth company Amwell. Its Verily division is gaining solid traction in the healthcare sector on the back of the innovative technologies such as AR/VR, AI, ML, cloud, and analytics.

IBM’s Watson Health unit is also involved in developing AI and data-driven technologies for enhancing healthcare services. The solutions are targeted to efficiently respond to some of the most complex issues in healthcare. 

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