KUALA LUMPUR, 2 MARCH 2009 Development of healthcare solutions in Asia Pacific will be boosted by a new online forum launched by software giant Microsoft Corp and the industry organisation Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS).
Speaking at HIMSS AsiaPac09 conference and exhibition, held 24-27 February, Kuala Lumpur, Microsoft Asia Pacific health industry director, Gabe Rijpma, says that the new forum - Microsoft Health Users Group (MS-HUG) - would provide a collaboration channel to Asia-Pacific regional healthcare organisations and technology partners that would enhance the development of healthcare IT solutions.
"The MS-HUG forum allows the healthcare technology community to discover new uses for existing technology, provide development support, network with peers, and to discuss needs and desires arising from the current use of healthcare IT," says Rijpma. "It is currently accessible to healthcare organisations and technology partners in North America, Europe, Middle-East and Africa (EMEA)."
Extending Microsoft HUG to the APAC healthcare community provides an expanded forum for collaboration and the sharing of knowledge and experience across a growing ecosystem of health organisations and technology partners, he said. Collaboration enables the ecosystem to better demonstrate how technology can help solve healthcare challenges in the region and improve health costs, quality, and access for citizens.
"The forum (www.mshug.org)is designed to allow technology partners to gain insight into healthcare specific requirements, improve their ability to target technology innovation, help health organisations improve service delivery, and achieve a stronger return on technology investments" said Rijpma. This is brought about by sharing knowledge with others in the MS-HUG community who have overcome similar challenges.
The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) is the healthcare industry's membership organisation focused on providing global leadership for the optimal use of healthcare information technology (IT) and management systems for the betterment of healthcare. Founded in 1961 with offices in Chicago, Washington D.C., Brussels, Singapore and other locations across the United States and the globe, HIMSS represents more than 20,000 individual members and more than350 corporate members that collectively represent organisations employing millions of people. HIMSS frames and leads healthcare public policy and industry practices through its advocacy
Another step towards better healthcare
HIMSS Asia Pacific vice president and executive director, Steven Yeo, said: MS-HUG enables us to further promote our mission to lead change in the healthcare information and management systems field through knowledge sharing, advocacy, collaboration, innovation, and community affiliation. Our goal is to drive better patient care, and this is another step in that direction.
Microsoft's Rijpma said that after several successful years of collaboration, MS-HUG's diverse membership has grown to include more than 5,000 members and 31 corporate supporters across North America, Europe, Middle-East and Africa (EMEA). "This community is united by a shared interest in implementing vendor- and user-developed software based on Microsoft technology to improve healthcare quality and efficiency, while reducing complexity and cost."
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