Microsoft foresees roles for Surface 2, Xbox, Kinect in healthcare

Microsoft foresees roles for Surface 2, Xbox, Kinect in healthcare

Summary: Microsoft's healthcare leaders already are thinking about how the newly announced Surface 2, Xbox, Xbox Live and the Kinect sensors may be incorporated into healthcare applications.

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Microsoft's healthcare leaders already are thinking about how the newly announced Surface 2, Xbox, Xbox Live and the Kinect sensors may be incorporated into healthcare applications.

(It's been a while since I've blogged about Microsoft's Health Solutions Group. That unit, under Corporate Vice President Peter Neupert, is the one overseeing HealthVault and Amalga, among other products.)

Bill Crounse, Senior Director of Worldwide Health for Microsoft blogged about the Surface 2 on January 6. He said he has been working with the Surface group for the past few months to create a "vision setting video" on scenarios for the Surface 2.0 in the healthcare space.

Crounse said he could envision clinicians collaborating with patients on wall-mounted versions of the $7,600 Surface 2.0 tables. Physicians also could use these devices to share more easily patient information, such as the results of a fetal ultrasound. (In other words, the Surface 2.0 could act as a 40-inch, multitouch display.)

Crounse said he also sees possible healthcare applications for a variety of consumer-focused Microsoft technologies down the road. Again, from his post:

"I also predict down the line that we’ll be seeing some 'mashups' combining Surface with attributes of Kinect, Xbox, Xbox Live, Avatars, and possibly Microsoft Lync or Windows Live. I’ve always maintained that the digital, flat-sceen Internet connected device in our living rooms (our television) would one day become the gateway to all kinds of new services and entertainment."

Hmmm. I'm not so sure about animated Kinect avatars in healthcare... Seems a little too much like Clippy revisited to me. I can see Lync's audio/video conferencing playing a role, however....

What's your take? Any other vertical markets you see adopting Surface 2.0, Xbox and/or Kinect sooner rather than later?

Update: My ZDNet colleague Manan Kakkar found an interesting Microsoft patent application earlier this year that shows Microsoft's been thinking about potential links between health and gaming. (His post makes me wonder whether social gaming will figure in Microsoft's future healthcare plans, as well.)

Topics: Legal, CXO, Hardware, Health, Microsoft, Mobility, IT Employment

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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32 comments
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  • RE: Microsoft foresees roles for Surface 2, Xbox, Kinect in healthcare

    It would be great if MS can get it below 2K before Apple reinvents (May be Revoutionarise :p) it..
    harsha.cs11
    • RE: Microsoft foresees roles for Surface 2, Xbox, Kinect in healthcare

      @harsha.cs11 Apple doesn't have the R/D invested in 3D sensor tech to do this. MS is way ahead of them here.
      rmark@...
  • RE: Microsoft foresees roles for Surface 2, Xbox, Kinect in healthcare

    Bug riddled, virus infested products from MS? Identifying Viruses in sick people? Yeah, kind of makes sense.
    james347
    • RE: Microsoft foresees roles for Surface 2, Xbox, Kinect in healthcare

      @james347 Can't wait for the HIPAA violations to flow in.
      cyberslammer2
      • Since they won't be using Apple, that won't happen,

        If you read the blog you would have seen it didn't say [i]Apple[/i] so no chance of HIPAA vilolations.
        AllKnowingAllSeeing
    • RE: Microsoft foresees roles for Surface 2, Xbox, Kinect in healthcare

      @james347
      It's clear from your post that you haven't actually used a Microsoft operating system in the last 7 years.
      Droid101
    • @james347

      This whole week, I have not seen one positive post from you. I don't recall you ever trolling before... What's changed?
      The one and only, Cylon Centurion
  • Doctors are already doing this with iPads

    The only ones that will use the big *ss table are hospitals that MS donates millions to to get them to 'adopt' it.

    With healthcare costs skyrocketing, the last thing a responsible hospital is going to do is use a virus ridden $8K derivitive piece of crap

    Microsoft, always a day late, a dollar short, and swillin' crap!
    ShazAmerica
    • RE: Microsoft foresees roles for Surface 2, Xbox, Kinect in healthcare

      @ShazAmerica
      Amazing how people who hate Microsoft do not even want to give it credit for anything good... This table could save hostpitals tons of money by making information much easier to access and facilitating better communication and collaboration among people working in the hospital or in clincs associated with it.

      This technology is superior. It brought the multi-touch ideas to reality well before Apple did with the iPhone. it continues to advance and will play a huge role in many industries, including healthcare, manufacturing, banking, etc. It is not a mere HD display as the article suggested; rather, it is a computer that could connect to all sorts of information and allow for slick interactivity with end user... Please read with open mind and do not let your hatred of Microsoft blind you of the reality that this is a great innovation.
      samofdetroit
    • Doctiors are already doing this with MS products.

      The only ones that will use the small crap pads are hospitals that Apple donates millions to to get them to 'adopt' it.

      With healthcare costs skyrocketing, the last thing a responsible hospital is going to do is use a virus ridden $8K derivitive piece of crap like the stuff Apple puts out

      Apple, always a day ahead, a dollar ahead, but swillin' crap

      It's great there are people like Shaz here willing to go broke so that Apple's sharholders can make a buck!
      AllKnowingAllSeeing
      • Doctors using iPads

        AllKnowingAllSeeing, you are funny. We use the iPad at our office for everything from verifying insurance coverage to presenting complicated treatment plans. I can't see us going to another room to sit around a Microsoft Surface. I like Apple products and we also have 24 PC's running XP at our office. You don't have to declare war on each other unless it gets you off... which that is what it sounds like you are doing when you speak about Apple. Funny, but sad. Use all the technology to its fullest and enjoy!
        drkraver
  • I believe Surface 2.0 can be commercially successful

    Mary-Jo, can you ask MS why the device is so expensive? Does MS have some kind of plan for lowering the price of the device?

    My guess is if MS works with finance companies and OEMs like Samsung, on making available payment plans for these devices, they can sell well - similar to other high priced items like motor vehicles. MS will also have to promote the items in trade magazines in some kind of sustained manner.

    If there is some plan by MS to lower the price of these devices through volume distribution, then my guess is that MS will systematically have to attack vertical markets like manufacturing, law enforcement, the military, retail, etc., and specific business scenarios first, until the devices are affordable to businesses and consumers in general. If MS could strike deals with shows such as House M.D., to have the devices displayed at minimal cost to MS, this could stimulate a sustained interest in the devices in the healthcare industry. (I believe it would also positively affect MS' stock price.) Maybe MS could make designers and programmers available to the shows, to help plan out and execute scenes with the devices. MS could probably also bump out the touch table and wall mounted devices used in Hawaii Five-O, and replace them with MS Surface versions.

    I believe MS should probably commission ISV partners to come out with customizable software solutions for vertical and horizontal markets, that show demonstrably, how these solutions make businesses more competitive - and is well worth the expense. MS and its partners could probably sell easily customizable turn key systems for popular scenarios in vertical and horizontal markets. E.g. a diagnostics Surface solution for use in emergency rooms; a general diagnostics Surface solution that brings in image, test, and other data from various sources; a collaborating solution that brings up data from myriad sources for law enforcement. (I guess these package solutions will have to be able to easily connect up to a range of back end solutions.)

    I believe therefore MS Surface 2.0 can have commercial success, but it will have to be promoted, packaged, and sold smartly.

    Again, why is this thing so expensive?
    P. Douglas
    • RE: Microsoft foresees roles for Surface 2, Xbox, Kinect in healthcare

      @P. Douglas : A great, thoughtful post. I certainly would like to see Microsoft take advantage of tiered pay-off plans, advertizing this in TV shows/movies, and more. There were a good number of ISVs working with the previous Surface to make them fit for hotels, restaurants, retail, education and more. Hopefully they continue to work with ISVs to make solutions best for businesses and government instutions again.

      I'm guessing it costs a lot because it's still technlogy that's pretty advance at this moment, and is made of some pretty high-end stuff. Hopefully they can find ways to better lower the costs.
      quikboy
  • RE: Microsoft foresees roles for Surface 2, Xbox, Kinect in healthcare

    Chill people. This isn't just about Microsoft. It is about harnessing the power of software and information communication technologies to improve health and healthcare--including access to care, with more consistent, higher quality and at lower cost. It is about innovative solutions that will help scale needed services to meet global demands. Do I think that means avatars caring for people? Probably not (although we are doing work where avatars and AI might help triage patients to the most appropriate services, ease social isolation, or provide patient education). But can such technologies deliver better, more personalized health information, education and certain kinds of medical services into the home or wherever it is needed? Yes it can. Yes it will. And, yes it is.

    Bill Crounse, MD
    bcrounse
    • But it's Microsoft

      @bcrounse

      Everyone has to piss and moan. No matter what good they try to do.
      The one and only, Cylon Centurion
  • I don't know about the current iteration of Kinect

    But maybe a hyper-acurate version would be a good way to train surgeons how to perform delicate surgeries. Most people want a surgeon who has done a hundred surgeries before operating on them. But you still have to do your first 10. Maybe 100 virtual surgeries can now be performed before the first real one. No matter hoe advance medicine gets it still comes down to the skill of the person holding the knife.

    I think this a direction that is worth pursuing for Microsoft and might benefit everyone.
    Tigertank
    • Simulated surgery .....

      @Tigertank ... last I would want is a surgeon who was trained on an invisible simulation playing around my internal organs.

      Sorry, but I don't see how anybody can even think that the combination is remotely appropriate for training. It is like the idiots who think that playing "Grand Theft Auto" and NASCAR games makes them expert drivers.
      wackoae
      • Then I would avoid surgery all together

        @wackoae <br><br>If I was you. You have no idea how automated some surgeries have become. Some people can go under the knife and not be touched by a human hand.

        Guess how they train for that?
        The one and only, Cylon Centurion
      • RE: Microsoft foresees roles for Surface 2, Xbox, Kinect in healthcare

        @wackoae

        Then I'd also stop flying as well as simulation is a large part of training on jumbo jets and MS Flight simulator was very useful before I flew a light plane.

        You don't really understand training do you?
        tonymcs@...
      • wackoae, some surgeries are done via &quot;telepresence&quot;

        Do you honestly believe they practice on actual people? Cadavers are not always an exceptable replacement for a living human, so simulation plays a large part in their training.
        :|
        Tim Cook