Interesting stories from home

**despite Bill’s picture appearing above, this is still me – Gareth :) *****

Being a proud Brit (and ex NHS employee), now living in Seattle, I always take an interest in my home country and the progress over there. A couple of interesting developments in the field of accessing data/clinical systems have happened recently, and I thought it might be interesting to share them widely here and find out if any of you are seeing similar things where you live.

Windows AzureWhen I worked in the NHS, I remember working with my GPs (family doctors) and they always loved their EMIS clinical systems and it’s really interesting to see how they have really embraced the patient accessing their own information. It was fascinating to read recently about EMIS moving their website onto Windows Azure, as well as making it available on Windows Phone and Windows 8. They now get 6 million visits a month and Windows Azure let them handle traffic spikes without having to purchase and manage more servers – which is one of the key benefits of moving to a cloud hosted service like Windows Azure.

WP_20130405_001[1]The second one I wanted to talk about is really close to my heart, being the Windows 8 guy on the health team. When we were getting ready to launch Windows 8, it quickly became apparent that Windows To Go was of particular interest to health customers, particularly those who have to deal with their clinical staff using multiple remote locations as care centers. When I heard about what Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust had been doing during the Olympic Games last summer, it really proved the point. Letting your staff have access to a fully functioning desktop carried on a USB stick is really powerful. If you get 2 minutes, have a look at the story – I love this quote from Kathy Lanceley, Deputy CIO and head of ICT Operations at the Trust : “Microsoft’s Windows To Go solution provided a far more cost-effective and seamless solution that not only allowed our staff to successfully work remotely, but also proved very simple to roll out”.

For those that don't know – Windows To Go enables you to install Windows 8 on an encrypted USB stick, and take it with you. When you plug it into a PC and get the PC to boot off the stick, you are presented with your desktop (running off the stick) and you can then use that to connect back to your hospital network and applications (assuming you have set up your infrastructure correctly). To the right is a picture of me holding the Windows To Go stick I use to show it off when I am with customers.. We will be telling more of this story in the coming weeks and months, and I will update this post then.

I am always on the lookout for interesting stories about our technology in health – let me know in the comments section if you have one!


Windows 8 lead – Worldwide Health at Microsoft