MedGizmo - Salesforce Health Cloud Transforms Healthcare Essence
15.09.2015, 07:33   CIO.COM

Salesforce Health Cloud Transforms Healthcare Essence

Salesforce dreams of a world beyond Patient Records with Health Cloud
CIO | Sep 14, 2015

This week, the Dreamforce conference gets under way in San Francisco. The spotlight will shine on Salesforce’s recently announced Salesforce Health Cloud . It articulates a bold vision – go beyond patient “records,” and build patient “relationships” instead. Salesforce should know a thing or two about building relationships – after all, they reinvented CRM in the past decade.

Salesforce’s Health Cloud is a cloud-based patient relationship management solution – here again, Salesforce banks on what it knows best -building cloud-based CRM platforms - and translates that into the patient engagement context in a healthcare setting. The vision is to enable providers to gain a complete view of the patient with integrated data from electronic medical records (EMRs), wearables and more.

The health system is awash in data – after untold billions have been spent on creating electronic medical records (EMR), the focus is now turning towards unstructured data such as images and text, socio-economic data, and of course wearables data from the new Internet of Things (IoT).

At one level, the health system is ripe for disruption by non-traditional players and big technology firms. IBM has been a spending spree for healthcare data. Google is going all out on life sciences with its recently announced contact lens product that can detect the progress of diabetes. Even Apple announced new healthcare features in the Watch to enable secure exchange of information in a clinical setting. And a thousand disruptive healthcare startups are blooming in the Valley.

Everyone, it seems, is ultimately looking to take control of the orchestration of doctor-patient interaction through a comprehensive technology platform that can ingest all kinds of data, provide all kinds of insights, and enable all modes of interaction – mobile, tablet, watch, and what-have-you.

The timing arguably couldn’t be better. A recent report found that while health systems are using high tech and high touch approaches to reach patients, engagement levels remain low.  Traditional players, be it health systems or their electronic health record (EHR) vendors, have done little to create a user experience that meets expectations in today’s context.

What makes Salesforce Health Cloud different?

Bold vision notwithstanding, it will ultimately come down to execution. Salesforce has wisely chosen an ecosystem of partnerships to help convert this vision to reality. Initial customers, notably leading academic medical centers such as UC San Francisco (UCSF), are known leaders in technology adoption whose endorsements will mean a lot for market acceptance.

Salesforce has also brought on board a slew of technology partners to enable the implementation of its platform - besides big consulting firms such as Accenture and Deloitte, they have also signed up smaller firms such as Mulesoft and Persistent Systems with specific expertise around systems integrations that will be crucial in orchestrating data exchange between diverse systems. According to Ross Mason, Founder and VP of Product Strategy at Mulesoft, a Silicon Valley startup, the goal is ultimately to enable a “digital conversation” between doctors and patients. This requires including all data sources from EMR to X-ray images, and even messages exchanged on pagers (I am told only doctors and drug dealers use them today – though drug dealers have apparently moved on to more current technologies).

Eventually, all this will unlock valuable information about patients residing in disparate systems. This will also enable advanced analytics on the data that will influence diagnosis and treatment decisions.

The challenges (yes, there are some)

The big challenge that firms like Salesforce and IBM face today is one that the health system at large faces today – lack of interoperability, and data lock-in by the big EHR vendors. Considering that the majority of treatment decisions still relies heavily on EMR data, it becomes imperative to make this a part of the digital conversation. However, it is equally important to realize that the world needs to move beyond medical records alone, as Salesforce rightly points out. There is vast information out there in unstructured data such as images and text, and potentially vast amounts of new information from wearables and IoT.

However, just because the data is out there doesn’t mean it can or will be used in the immediate future. As an example, social media data is still out of bounds for the most part, and your doctor isn’t going to simply accept your Fitbit data for treatment decisions.

Having said that, initiatives like Health Cloud are important stepping stones in our journey towards a connected health ecosystem where doctors and patients can have secure digital conversations with all the available data at their disposal. But first, the data needs to come together. As someone said to me, data wants to be free. Let’s respect that wish.

This article is published as part of the IDG Contributor Network. Want to Join?

Paddy Padmanabhan star Advisor IDG Contributor Network
Paddy is an experienced and accomplished business leader & entrepreneur with over 25 years of experience. He has worked extensively in Technology and Analytics in the Healthcare sector. Paddy is CEO of Damo Consulting, Inc, an independent management consulting firm focused on Global Sourcing, Analytics, and Digital for healthcare enterprises.

Salesforce Introduces Salesforce Health Cloud -- Building Patient Relationships, Not Records

New product enables healthcare providers to get a complete view of the patient, make smarter care decisions, engage with patients across their caregiver networks and manage patient data

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 2, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Salesforce [NYSE: CRM], the Customer Success Platform and world's #1 CRM company, today introduced Salesforce Health Cloud, empowering healthcare providers to go beyond health records and build stronger relationships with patients. Salesforce Health Cloud is a cloud-based patient relationship management solution that enables providers to gain a complete view of the patient with integrated data from electronic medical records (EMRs), wearables and more; make smarter care decisions; engage with patients across their caregiver networks; and manage patient data.

For the first time in history, healthcare IT is shifting toward the patient experience. New regulations such as the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and outcomes-based reimbursements are pressuring health providers to provide more comprehensive care and compete for patients like never before. At the same time, expectations of patients have shifted, as younger generations -- digital natives who grew up with iPhones, Facebook and Fitbits -- are demanding that providers offer more tech-savvy ways of managing their care. In fact, 71% of millennials want their doctors to provide a mobile app to actively manage their health.1 And 63% would be interested in proactively providing their health data from wearables to their doctors, so they can monitor their well-being.1

Introducing Salesforce Health Cloud

Today's health systems need to make the shift beyond revenue cycle management and electronic health records to organizations focused on patient relationships. Salesforce Health Cloud, which is built on Salesforce's industry-leading Service Cloud, enables providers to get a more precise view of patient demographic, lifestyle and health information to better serve their needs.

    Complete View of Patient Data: Salesforce Health Cloud's Patient Profile enables care coordinators to gain a complete view of their patients, from current conditions and medications, to scheduled appointments and lab results. Data for the profile is populated from multiple sources, including EMRs, medical devices, wearables and more. Patient information is presented in Health Cloud's Timeline view that allows providers to understand the progression of a patient's health journey. And by using the Patient Caregiver Map, providers can map household relationships, as well as all providers and specialists involved in a patient's care.
    Smarter Patient Care Decisions: Salesforce Health Cloud's Today screen alerts caregivers to timely issues, whether it is missed appointments or a need to refill medications. Rather than toggling between multiple systems, caregivers make smarter patient care decisions directly from the console by browsing tasks matched to individual patients and quickly acting upon them. In addition, by leveraging built-in Salesforce Chatter -- an internal social networking tool -- care coordinators review internal conversations taking place around selected patients, ensuring collaboration across the care network. Finally, providers can easily segment and manage patient populations, such as setting reminders for patients with high-blood pressure to schedule regular check-ins.
    Engage More Deeply with Patients Across Any Device: Health Cloud features Private Communities, which allow care coordinators to securely collaborate and assign tasks across a patient's caregiver network. Private Patient Communities also helps patients view progress against a care plan, find answers quickly to common questions and connect with any provider in their network. Also, by extending Health Cloud to mobile platforms, providers can send messages to patients' smartphones, reaching them where they live and work.
    Built-in Tools to Facilitate Adherence to HIPAA Requirements: Health Cloud includes tools that healthcare providers may use in order to facilitate their adherence to their compliance requirements from the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), including Salesforce Shield, a set of built-in Salesforce1 Platform features that include Field Audit Trail, Platform Encryption, Data Archive and Event Monitoring.

Health Cloud Integration with Major Medical Systems via Industry Partners

Salesforce is leveraging a comprehensive ecosystem of partners in the development and deployment of Salesforce Health Cloud. Healthcare companies Centura Health, DJO Global, Radboud University Medical Center and UCSF assisted with product design and feature development; MuleSoft, Persistent Systems and other partners offer integrations to leading EMRs from Epic, Cerner and GE; industry partner Philips provides integrated medical device connectivity and new applications for connected and continuous care; and systems integrators (SIs) Accenture, Deloitte Digital and PwC deliver services for implementation, integration, customization and content.

Comments on the News
"The era of precision healthcare is upon us," said Joshua Newman, MD, Chief Medical Officer, GM, Salesforce Healthcare and Life Sciences. "Just like we use precision medicine to target more personalized treatments for cancer and other diseases, precision healthcare is enabling our customers to develop more meaningful, accurate and long-term relationships with patients. Health Cloud is a huge step forward in our industry's transformation."

"Health Cloud puts Centura Health patients at the center of their healthcare journey," said Jim Rogers, RN, CenturaConnect Director at Centura Health, Colorado's largest healthcare system. "We're excited to use Salesforce Health Cloud to move our oncology navigators onto a single platform, standardizing their workflows, and increasing collaboration with ambulatory, acute, and post-acute care coordinators, and tracking patient outcomes in real-time."

"Healthcare providers face a significant challenge. To deliver the best patient care possible, they rely on data sitting in multiple systems. These include EMRs, lab systems and imaging applications, often across multiple data centers and in the cloud," said Ross Mason, founder and vice president of product strategy for MuleSoft. "Connectivity is the key to unlocking this data and making it useful. MuleSoft's integration platform brings data from these systems into Salesforce with an API-led approach, enabling agility while allowing providers to remain in control of their patients' information. We're excited to partner with Salesforce on Health Cloud to realize the vision of a single patient success platform."

"As care organizations and providers seek effective ways for patients to become more actively involved in managing their own health, there is a growing need for solutions that enhance self-management, facilitate collaboration between patients and healthcare providers, and improve continuity and quality of care," said Jeroen Tas, CEO, Healthcare Informatics Solutions and Services for Philips. "We're excited to integrate with Salesforce Health Cloud as we continue to grow the capabilities of our HealthSuite digital platform, empowering patients and caregivers to become active partners in health care."

Pricing and Availability
    Salesforce Health Cloud previews today, with general availability slated for February 2016.
    Pricing for the new Salesforce Health Cloud will be announced at the time of general availability.

Additional Information
    Learn more about Salesforce Health Cloud at

Connect with Salesforce
    Like Salesforce on Facebook at
    Follow @salesforce on Twitter.

About Salesforce
Salesforce, the Customer Success Platform and world's #1 CRM, empowers companies to connect with their customers in a whole new way. For more information about Salesforce (NYSE: CRM), visit:
Any unreleased services or features referenced in this or other press releases or public statements are not currently available and may not be delivered on time or at all. Customers who purchase Salesforce applications should make their purchase decisions based upon features that are currently available. Salesforce has headquarters in San Francisco, with offices in Europe and Asia, and trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol "CRM." For more information please visit, or call 1-800-NO-SOFTWARE.

15.09.2015, 07:33   CIO.COM
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