Customer relationship management services vendor Salesforce has introduced its first healthcare-specific cloud hosting service, called Salesforce Health Cloud, but it isn’t yet available.

Pilot tests begin in October with general availability expected in February 2016. Development partners of Health Cloud include UCSF Medical Center, Radboudumc, Centura Health, DJO, PWC, Accenture, Deloitte, Persistent, MuleSoft and Philips, with more partners being sought.

Until now, healthcare organizations wanting a care coordination system or other functionality could take a service cloud app, customize the system, build their own data models and presentation screens, and make it work, says Joshua Newman, M.D., chief medical officer at Salesforce. Now, Salesforce can build the data model and presentation screens, combine them in a new product and have the end result be cheaper, easier and more scalable, he adds.

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The first function to be supported on Salesforce Health Cloud is CRM software. Other functions will include marketing, patient portal, analytics, clinical reporting and app development.

The CRM function will offer screenshots of patients being seen on a given day with notes and reminders, importing of data from other systems, and being able to track patient engagement by seeing how many times they call and how many appointments they miss, among other services.

The Health Cloud also will support devices for tracking glucose and sleep levels, among other variables, with the data stored in the cloud and able to be parsed, Newman says. A collaboration screen will enable patients to access their information and permit others such as spouses to access it, and to ease communicating with clinicians, along with a tab for lifestyle management.

HealthCloud and its platform of products are designed to aid providers in succeeding with accountable care and important components such as population health management and value-based reimbursement, according to Newman. The platform also will offer the emerging Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources standard from Health Level Seven, also known as FHIR.

Pricing has not been finalized; Newman says it likely will be a subscription fee per user per month.

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