Would you be surprised to learn that the NHS is Microsoft’s single largest customer.

So does that then lead you to assume that Microsoft is an NHS partner?

I ask this because this is how Bill Crounse, Microsoft’s worldwide health director sees the future of Healthcare:

“In my keynote address, I pointed out that the most innovative and progressive uses of information technology in American healthcare tend to be found in organizations that function as both providers and payers of care such as Kaiser, Group Health Cooperative, or UPMC. In such organisations, there’s an incentive to provision care in the most medically appropriate, expedient and cost effective manner with a focus on prevention. This means if a member’s need for information or medical services can be addressed just as safely and effectively with an instant message, e-mail, phone call, tele-consultation, or e-visit as could be accomplished by means of a face-to-face traditional office visit, that’s exactly what will be done. No waiting for an appointment, taking time off work, driving somewhere, waiting in an exam room, etc. just for a simple bit of information or reassurance from your doctor. Typically, these organisations are also leading the way in making electronic medical record systems securely accessible to patients who are interested in maintaining a personal health record. They are also doing some of the best work in preventive health services, home monitoring, and chronic disease management. I believe the NHS is not only locked and loaded for the next 60 years, but it is in excellent position to lead the world by example in the application and use of information technology to improve the health of all citizens.”

So, the more tele-medicine is used, the more profit for this particular NHS partner.

Is that what he is saying?

Tele-medicine can have a hugely positive effect on healthcare, but in the wrong hands can also be very dangerous.

It needs to be used at the right time, in the right circumstances, by the right people.

Do you think that doctors had quickly get their head round telemedecine soon or the huge multinational corporations may be the ones that will dictate how to diagnose, manage and treat patients?

Doctors need to get a better understanding and assume control of the telemedicine revolution before others do.

Remember that name ‘Tele-Medicine’.

Because one way or another, this will be firmly in place before most people have even noticed.


  1. You put forward an interesting point, but when one considers the software needed to run the NHS computer systems, the answer seems obvious that the NHS and Microsoft must be hand in hand on most IT systems. Saying that, is it a good idea, and what will be the long term benefits for the NHS and the British public?

  2. Lanark says:

    I once had (wait for it) dentistry by telephone on NHS 24. I was unable to access any NHS dentists because none of my local dentists had spaces on their NHS list and I had a full blown abscess. A molar tooth had cracked and I was in severe pain. In desperation I phoned the local NHS Trust to try and find a dentist nearby who would/ could treat me. I was phoned back by a nurse at NHS 24 who suggested that I “took some Ibuprofen” (by this stage Ibuprofen was completely ineffective) and without a hint of irony, the nurse said that once I had found a dentist I was to tell them that I had received triage from NHS 24.
    You couldn’t make it up.

    • Admin says:

      Unfortunately your story is becoming all too common, and unless this is addressed now, this country is going to become like America. If you suffer an accident, the paramedics are going to be going through your pockets for either your Medical Insurance or a Credit Card.

      Dark times ahead. 🙁

  3. Reitman says:

    Depends… Several times i needed just a prescription, and the receptionists said that no doctors available for a couple of weeks! I went to pharmacy and i asked the assistant for help, she took me back and told the receptionists off. Turned out the doctor was available…

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