Non-Profit Partners In Health: Saving time, saving money and saving lives with the cloud
Powered by Microsoft Azure, Partners In Health saves money and fine-tunes its programming—creating additional resources to improve people’s health worldwide.
The international nonprofit Partners In Health (PIH) modernizes healthcare in the world’s most in-need populations. By deploying Microsoft cloud solutions across sites globally, PIH is streamlining operations, optimizing capacity and communication, and most importantly, saving lives.
Marc Julmisse, chief nursing officer at University Hospital in Mirebalais, Haiti says “we’re saving time and money, and every dollar we save is making it to the field to help those that need it.”
A nonprofit’s mission is focused on serving its people and can be even more empowered by the right IT. Non-Profits can now qualify for large discounts which accelerates their mission to do good.
How can the Microsoft cloud empower Non-Profits to achieve more?
Non-Profits are constantly pinching pennies and trying to make the most of their existing resources. To help them leverage their existing resources, including data, Partners In Health created a centralized, cloud-based clearinghouse for its offices, clinics and field employees to store, access and analyze data.
It's up to the staff to input patient details but because the files are hosted in the cloud, team members can upload information from any device, anywhere in the world. This optimizes their communication and collaboration and expedites decision-making.
Partners In Health also utilizes data stored safely in the cloud to better understand quality of care in its clinics, hospitals and home visits. The insights gleaned from data uploaded in real time empowers the Non-Profit to share best practices from locations that are exceeding benchmarks, direct resources where they are most needed and demonstrate success to donors.
How can the Microsoft cloud leverage communication to connect multiple employees worldwide?
Non-Profit leaders know that communication is the key to innovation and problem-solving. Because of that, Partners In Health standardized its communication systems with Microsoft and these improvements led the way for non-profit’s directive to help people that need it most.
Take, for example, the recent Ebola outbreak. With Office 365, PIH sent an all-hands email to mobilize people—and start saving lives as quickly as possible. Such an efficient response to a health emergency would have been impossible in the nonprofit’s previous IT solution and employee’s reliance on personal email accounts.
And because Outlook is just one part of an entire cloud ecosystem, employees who are integrated into the email exchange can also collaborate on documents in SharePoint, access performance metrics in OneDrive and brainstorm solutions with colleagues half a world away on Skype for Business. What’s more, the Azure cloud identity solution provides a database of employees, their location and their work, which local technical leads can manage without relying on headquarters oversight. This solution ensures staff get the access and resources to do their jobs—quickly.
How does the Microsoft cloud protect Non-Profit’s sensitive data?
Partners In Health collects patients’ most sensitive information about their health status so PIH knew they had to show how safe and secure they were, and the cloud allows them to do just that.
Microsoft’s cloud encrypts email, allows custom security settings and protects data from threats with industry-leading firewalls and antimalware.
How does the Microsoft cloud help non-profits work in remote and challenging conditions?
Serving the world’s most at-risk populations where they work and live means that Non-Profits operate in unforgiving locations.
Thanks to cloud access, employees plow through what used to be daily IT headaches and even bigger IT disasters. By backing up the data to OneDrive, non-profits no longer worry about losing valuable or sensitive data.
Mobile access to documents, programs and storage allows employees to stay productive. The Microsoft cloud helps people stay connected and collaborate in real time, even to the most remote areas.
The Microsoft cloud empowers Partners In Health to do more with less. As a more efficient, collaborative and flexible nonprofit, PIH can respond to any health crisis—and ensure people across the globe get the life-saving care they need.
Four Green Tech Predictions for 2017
Four Green Tech Predictions for 2017
The end of the calendar year is a traditional time of reflection, of the ups and downs of the past year, and to think about what to expect in 2017. As Microsoft’s chief environmental strategist, I am encouraged by the progress made on some environmental issues in the past year, but there is still much work to be done. Despite the increasing urgency around many environmental issues, I remain optimistic about the future.
Perhaps the most notable breakthrough this past year was that the Paris Agreement on climate change entered into force. Cities, countries and companies around the world are now focusing their efforts on how to set and execute their plans to reduce carbon emissions. We also saw growth in corporate procurement of renewable energy in 2016, both in the U.S. and around the globe, another encouraging sign. At Microsoft, we put forth our own goal to source 50% of our datacenter electricity from wind, solar and hydropower. At the end of this year, we’re happy to report that we are on pace to not only meet our goal, but also are creating new financial and technology models that can further accelerate the pace of the adoption of renewable energy.
As we look towards 2017, I expect that we will see both continued progress on energy and an increasing focus on non-energy areas. As we at Microsoft think about 2017, I think we expect to see some shifts in approaches and investments happening across the world.
1. IoT and Cloud Computing will begin to transform utility energy management:
Aging infrastructure is already under pressure and the addition of more renewable energy will only compound the stress on existing infrastructure. As more clean energy comes online, along with distributed resources like electric vehicles and rooftop solar, utilities are facing a big challenge – how to manage a more complex network of energy creating and energy storing devices. 2017 will see an increased investment by utilities in technology to leverage data, through IoT solutions and cloud computing, to make energy management more predictable, flexible and efficient.
In developing nations, we are seeing a different trend, but one that is also accelerated by IoT and cloud computing. In these markets, data is being used to accelerate distribution, sales and management of micro-solar grids to enable households to get both power and connectivity to the internet. 2017 should be an exciting year with even more growth as capital investments in these markets increase and solar and battery storage prices decline.
2. Water will begin to emerge as the next critical world-scale environmental challenge
Water scarcity is increasing in many areas around the world. Our oceans are under threat from pollution, acidification and warming temperatures. We are already seeing the devastating effects on iconic landmarks like the Great Barrier Reef. And these trends are putting peoples’ food, water, and livelihoods at risk. In 2017, awareness on this challenge will increase. We will begin to better understand what is happening to our water through the use of sensors and cloud computing. Our ability to leverage technologies like advanced mapping technologies and sensors will increase and expand our understanding of what is driving the decline of many of our critical water systems.
3. Data will increasingly be used to try to better understand our planet
Data is essential for monitoring and managing the earth’s resources and fragile ecosystems. There is much we do not understand about the planet, but we see an increasing number of companies and investments flowing toward developing tools and platforms that enable better mapping and understanding of earth’s carbon storage and air borne gasses, and ecosystems and the associated value they provide. We expect to see data being applied more proactively to create a more actionable understanding of how we can better manage food, water, biodiversity and climate change.
4. Organizations and policy makers will start leveraging cloud-based technologies
This area is perhaps the most difficult to try to predict. While countries will begin implementing their action plans under the Paris Agreement, it is not easy to predict the methods each country will use and prioritize to make progress against commitments under the Paris Agreement. And the changes will happen not just at the national level. Increasingly we will see cities and local governments moving ahead with technology implementation to drive efficiencies and accountability, along with policy changes as well. We’re already leveraging machine learning and artificial intelligence to better model and understand the potential impact of legislative changes, in addition to offering our technologies to our public sector partners as they work towards their plans. While this will likely take several years to take hold, 2017 should see an increased awareness for the role of technology in environmental policy
While there are many challenges ahead across so many areas of sustainability, I remain optimistic. The number of people and organizations that are focusing on these and many other areas of sustainability ensure that we will continue to make progress in 2017. At Microsoft, we are committed to working with our customers and partners to help them achieve more through the use of our technologies. Everyone – companies, countries, individuals – have much work to do. We believe that by working together, we can help develop effective solutions to address environmental challenges that will benefit our business, our customers and the planet. And we are up to the challenge.
New features arrive in Microsoft Photos on Windows 10
New features arrive in Microsoft Photos on Windows 10
Written by Chris Pratley as seen on blogs.windows.com
Focusing on the Creators in all of Us
Since I was a kid, I have been drawn to computers because of what they enable each of us to make, to create. Recently Microsoft announced new hardware such as the Surface Studio and Dial, the Windows 10 Creators update, and new software such as Paint 3D, all focused on creators. Creation is a theme that extends across our suite of experiences, including the Photos app that comes with Windows 10.
We have now made available the next step in this creator’s journey with an update to Microsoft Photos. We’re making it fun to view all your digital memories in photo or video form, with a refreshed user experience that makes it pleasant to browse your collection. We’ve updated the way you edit photos and apply filters to simplify the most common actions. To celebrate the new hardware and the creator in all of us, we’ve added the ability to draw on your photos and videos and even play back the ink with animation!
We have ambitious plans with much more to come as we think about creators, digital memories, and storytelling. Stay tuned.
The updated Photos app: Now in dark or light
One of the first things you’ll notice in the updated Photos app is that things got a little lighter. We heard your feedback that for some people (most people!) a dark theme can be overwhelming or intimidating. We’ve got a new, light theme for browsing your pics! Let your memories shine through with the new light theme, or you can always go back to the dark theme in Settings. The single photo view still uses a black ‘lightbox’ feel to let your media show most effectively when it is the center of attention.
Plus, Photos also now has a horizontal navigation bar, making it easier than ever to view your memories in different ways: your whole collection chronologically, or by Albums or Folders. We’ve also taken the time to add subtle animations throughout the experience to make your memories come alive.
Draw on your memories
We each use photos and videos to capture some of the most important moments in our lives. But sometimes, there is more to the story than what our pictures and videos can convey on their own, or you’d just like to personalize a message. Now you can use your stylus (or your finger if you have a touch screen device, or your mouse!) to draw on your memories directly.
Choose from three pen types (I like calligraphic!), pick a color to draw with, and use the eraser to fine-tune your work. Once the ink dries, you can share a still of your new image. But even cooler, allow your message to come to life by sharing an animation of your drawing with friends and family as a video. Share it on Facebook, send over email.
You can also draw on videos, and the ink will play back at the right places when others view it. Use the pen to mark up the peewee league football video just like the pros. Or give stage direction for the school play. Or just add funny comments, thought bubbles and moustaches to lighten up a goofy video.
Editing made simple
The photo editor now has a new, easy-to-use interface. The commands have been rearranged to emphasize the most common user needs, such as easy cropping and adjusting. All the other capabilities are still there under Enhance and Adjust. We’ve added a whole new set of filters too. Get creative with filters such as Zeke or Denim, then check out the other adjustable enhancements you can make to your photos, like tweaking the lighting or warmth.
Photos now on Xbox
As a Universal Windows application, Microsoft Photos is showing up throughout the Windows ecosystem. We’re also releasing Photos for the Xbox, which allows you to browse media you have stored on OneDrive for access on all your devices. Use your controller to navigate your memories just as you would expect with our Xbox optimized user interface.
We’d love to hear from you!
We’re making a big investment in Photos these days and we want your feedback on how to make it better. You are a key part of all the changes we make to the Photos experience. Try out the latest update, edit some photos, draw on some videos, and continue to share your feedback with us through the built-in feedback tool. You can find “Send Feedback” under the “…” menu.