Opinion Article: The City of the Future is a Healthier Place to Live

MicrosoftBy Elena Bonfiglioli, Senior Director, Health Industry, EMEA.
With the majority of our world's population residing in cities, now more than ever we need to find smarter, more sustainable ways to help urban citizens live healthier. The time has come to "mainstream health and social services" in our cities and leverage the interplay between health and other important areas such as education, urban planning, transportation, environmental stewardship, tourism, e-government services, safety and defense.

That's why I'm extremely excited about Microsoft CityNext. Its people-first approach can help a city optimize its services, processes, and policies to take a holistic approach to promoting healthier living by:

  • Transforming a city's technology infrastructure to better cope with an aging population and the increase in chronic, noncommunicable diseases - by enabling care provision in more ways and places, for example.
  • Engaging with citizens on their terms to provide services in new, easier, more accessible and affordable ways such as with health and social services mobile apps that are available 24/7.
  • Accelerating innovation and nurturing a city's human potential by attracting students, innovators, and entrepreneurs who are ready to learn new skills, invent, and invest their talent to create new solutions and ventures that address health and societal challenges.

Through this three-pronged approach, CityNext enables cities to align their infrastructure investments with the reality of how their citizens work, live, connect, learn, and heal. And it helps them to do so within tight budgets by doing "new with less."

So what can cities and their citizens do right now to make a real impact in health and wellness?

CityNext solutions for health and social services offer several ways to not only get started but also take a long-term view. Based on Microsoft software, services, and devices that people love to use, they include solutions for:

  • Remote care and case management to enable more efficient and effective delivery of customized, coordinated care for citizens where and when they need it.
  • Social benefits and administration to help streamline processes and improve the efficiency of benefits delivery and administrative procedures.
  • Personal health and wellness to empower people to focus on prevention and to better manage their health by connecting devices such as digital scales, blood pressure and glucose monitors, and pedometers with health and wellness apps.
  • Primary care to make it easier for citizens to access general care and referrals to specialists, and to make it easier for clinicians to care and cure - while enabling seamless sharing of information along the care continuum.
  • Pandemic management to help track, classify, group, analyze, visualize, and better manage emergency episodes such as disease outbreaks.
  • Population health management to help identify trends that affect the health of certain populations and provide targeted resources and services to improve outcomes.

As Neil Jordan mentioned in his blog last week, these solutions are based on cloud, analytics, and mobile technologies and are available through our global network of partners. I'll share some great examples of these solutions in my next blog within a week's time. So check back here soon and I look forward to continuing the dialogue on the city of the future, which we, at Microsoft, believe will be a healthier place to live.

Related news articles:

About Microsoft in Health
Microsoft is committed to improving health around the world through software innovation. For over 16 years, Microsoft has been providing a broad portfolio of technologies and collaborating with partners worldwide to deliver solutions that address the challenges of healthcare providers, public health and social services, payers, life sciences organizations, and consumers. Today, Microsoft invests in technology innovation and works with health organizations, communities and over 20,000 partners around the world to make a real impact on the quality of healthcare.

About Microsoft
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

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