Microsoft, Johns Hopkins team up to improve ICU device interoperability

A depiction of the tablet app being developed by Johns Hopkins with the assistance of Microsoft--Courtesy of Johns Hopkins

Microsoft ($MSFT) and Johns Hopkins are teaming up to improve medical device interoperability in the intensive care unit and deploy Big Data from patient monitoring equipment to prevent injuries and other complications.

The collaboration builds on Johns Hopkins' $9.4 million Project Emerge initiative, which aims to develop a tablet app that integrates data from myriad patient monitors and information systems onto a centralized platform. In an attempt to improve customer service, the project is also piloting tablet app used near the hospital bed that enables enhanced communication with patients and their families.

According to the Project Emerge website, Johns Hopkins hopes to deploy its technology at the University of California, San Francisco Medical Center as well.

Additional pilot projects are slated to commence in 2016, under the enhanced collaboration with Microsoft, Johns Hopkins said in a release. Microsoft will provide Johns Hopkins with its Azure cloud computing platform and services, as well as expertise with software development. The goal is to display the patient data and associated information on any hospital-approved Windows device at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center.

"Today's intensive care patient room contains anywhere from 50 to 100 pieces of medical equipment developed by different manufacturers that rarely talk to one another," said Peter Pronovost, senior vice president of patient safety and quality for Johns Hopkins Medicine, in a statement. "We are excited to collaborate with Microsoft to bring interoperability to these medical devices, to fully realize the benefits of technology and provide better care to our patients and their families. By combining teamwork with technology designed to meet patients' and clinicians' needs, we can make care safer, less expensive and more joyful."

The duo are already working together to foster entrepreneurship. In May, Microsoft become a corporate sponsor of Johns Hopkins' FastForward incubator, in a bid to encourage growth in the health IT space.

- read the release