Salesforce has added several new features to its Health Cloud service, including a remote patient monitoring dashboard and self-service appointment management tool, as it bolsters its focus on the healthcare sector.
The technology giant launched its industry-specific cloud in 2015 to help healthcare providers engage more effectively with patients and accelerate digital transformation plans in a sector that has often been slow to adopt new technologies.
Built on Salesforce’s Service Cloud, the Health Cloud platform is designed to give organisations a broader view of patient data and integrate with electronic health record (EHR) systems.
Among the updates announced this week ahead of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society's HIMSS21 conference in Las Vegas, is Remote Patient Exception Monitoring. It uses data from connected healthcare devices, such as heart rate or blood glucose levels, to track patient health in a Health Cloud dashboard, allowing providers and care coordinators monitor patient health without meeting in-person.
The Intelligent Appointment Management tool lets patients choose whether to schedule appointments independently using a PC or mobile device, or to speak with a call center operator. To streamline the process, pre-visit questionnaires can be created and customised by appointment type.
Medication Management provides a single list of a patient’s current and past medications so clinicians and healthcare organisations don't have to manage medications reviews manually across separate systems.
Salesforce has also added HIPAA compliance for Salesforce Maps to ensure that patient data accessed by “field workers,” such as those in patient outreach, sales, and service operations, is secure. Salesforce B2C Commerce and Order Management were also confirmed as HIPAA-compliant.
Healthcare has been a growing focus for Salesforce, which launched its Vaccine Cloud service earlier this year to manage inventory and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.
“It's no secret that the pandemic accelerated digital transformation efforts out of necessity to meet the challenge of connecting people digitally while they were forced to distance themselves physically,” said Brent Leary, co-founder and partner at consulting firm CRM Essentials. “One of the most important areas this had to happen was with interactions between doctors and patients, as people still required medical assistance."
Salesforce is not the only CRM provider to focus on healthcare, with Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare including Dynamics 365 features tailored to the sector, such as care coordination and patient engagement.
More broadly, the major cloud vendors have increased investments in services for the healthcare and life sciences sectors. For example, Google launched its Healthcare Data Engine last month to help tackle data interoperability, with the ability to integrate and standardise siloed data such as medical records, research date and more, while Amazon Web Services last month debuted its Amazon for Health platform, including the Amazon Healthlake data analytics tool.
“The opportunity to address these industry needs is huge, and all the main players are looking to stake their claim,” said Leary.