UPMC is making plans to build three digitally based specialty hospitals, looking to support their care with information technology that supports both treatment and coordination of care.

The Pittsburgh-based healthcare organization says it will invest $2 billion in the facilities, which will treat cancer, heart and transplant cases, and vision and rehabilitation care.

Microsoft will collaborate with UPMC in designing what it’s calling “digital hospitals of the future.”

“Building on our existing research collaboration with Microsoft and its Azure cloud platform, we will apply technology in ways that will transform what today is often a disjointed and needlessly complex experience for patients and clinicians,” said Jeffrey A. Romoff, president and CEO of UPMC.

Romoff said Microsoft and UPMC will release further details about the initiative in the near future.

Facilities planned for construction include:

• UPMC Vision and Rehabilitation Hospital, expected to open in 2020.

• UPMC Hillman Cancer Center, with a predicted opening date of 2022.

• UPMC Heart and Transplant Hospital (no estimate of an opening date was provided).

The new hospitals will be located on the campuses of UPMC’s Mercy, Presbyterian and Shadyside hospitals.

UPMC currently operates specialty hospitals that include Magee-Womens Hospital, Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, and Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.

The digitally based hospitals will focus on translational science, which involves taking new research and applying it directly to patient care.

“Our transformative vision will make available the most innovative treatments for cancer, heart disease, transplantation, diseases of aging, vision restoration and rehabilitation, among many others,” Romoff says. “Working with the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences, we will radically change healthcare as we know it to provide personalized, effective and compassionate care.

“These digitally based specialty hospitals are the expression of our cutting edge translational science creating treatments and cures for the most devastating diseases,” he notes.

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