Health Ministry gives the nod to Microsoft’s cloud for personal info storage

Decision will be transformative for the eHealth agenda in New Zealand, Microsoft says

The Ministry of Health has accepted Microsoft’s cloud services Azure, Office 365 and Dynamics CRM Online as meeting the requirements for storage of personal health information, enabling health services providers to use these services.

Microsoft New Zealand, managing director Barrie Sheers said the decision would be transformative for the eHealth agenda in New Zealand. “New Zealand’s health tech industry is today worth $1.3b to the local economy, and our country significantly punches above its weight on the international stage with health tech innovation,” Sheers said.

“With leading exporters like Orion Health, and more than a hundred other smaller independent software vendors, the health tech sector in New Zealand is one that continues to grow and provide burgeoning opportunity for export to the fast growing global health market.”

(Māori health software company Whānau Tahi has been selected as one of four finalists in the Public Sector: Health Partner of the Year category at Microsoft Worldwide Partner of the Year awards. The winner will be announced later this week.)

The decision was welcomed by New Zealand Health IT (NZHIT) – the peak body for the health tech sector in New Zealand. NZHIT CEO Scott Arrol said the decision “further supports the ability for health providers and digital partners to utilise advanced technologies to enable the delivery of enhanced services to New Zealanders.”

He added: “The Microsoft cloud will provide another important platform with which [health providers can] operate their business models, develop and deploy innovative solutions for the local and international markets and advance this country’s ability to be a leader in the delivery of high quality, responsive and personalised health outcomes.”

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