Microsoft is full of incubators designed to more quickly transfer research projects to the product groups.
Thanks to a tipster, I just learned this week of another of these labs: Microsoft's Healthcare Innovation Lab.
The Healthcare Innovation Lab is aligned with Microsoft's Health Solutions Group -- the business unit that oversees HealthVault, Azyxxi, Sentillion and other Microsoft health-focused products and technologies. I asked Microsoft for more information and found out that the Lab, based in Washington, D.C., is actually nine years old, created by the Azyxxi team that Microsoft acquired in 2006.
More from a Health Solutions spokesperson:
"Fitting Microsoft’s vision for 'Labs' – the Healthcare Innovation Lab focuses on technology transfer from across Microsoft Research, Microsoft Product groups, academia, and industry partners. Towards that goal, the lab applies a principle of 'technology arbitrage': identify promising technologies successfully solving challenges in other fields and reapply them to healthcare to bring positive differences to the lives of patients and providers. The Innovation Lab’s current and founding director, Michael Gillam, MD, has led the team through projects spanning gesture based natural user interfaces, advanced data visualization, Surface Computing, augmented and virtual reality, and robotics."
I blogged a month ago about Microsoft looking to use Surface 2, Kinect and Xbox in health products/solutions. And former Softie and robotics champion Tandy Trower was big on the possibilities of using robots in healthcare (and still is at his new venture, Hoaloha Robotics).
Earlier this week, Microsoft's Health Solutions Group announced plans to provide encrypted e-mail functionality for HealthVault. Via this offering, "every HealthVault record will be able to automatically accept mails directly from healthcare providers," according to the press release. Initial HealthVault partners making use of the new encryption offering include MedPlus and VisionShare Inc.