On Sept 2nd, in a pre-Dreamforce 2015 announcement, Salesforce.com finally took the wraps off their new target industry: the Healthcare vertical. The announcement confirmed recent persistent rumors about its intentions to break into the healthcare market.

The software-as-a-service suite features “patient relationship management” tools – distinctly different from EHRs. In a statement to the media, Salesforce Chief Medical Officer Dr. Joshua Newman said, “We think we are among the pioneers in the post-EHR world”.

Through the Health Cloud platform, Salesforce joins a growing crop of companies that offer more comprehensive views of patient data than electronic health records. According to Dr Newman, precision healthcare is about “managing patients and not records”. Health Cloud can integrate data from a variety of sources, including EHRs, medical devices and wearables, among others, that care coordinators and clinicians can view in a modern social network-style dashboard interface.

Notable features include Timeline, which enables providers to see the patient’s health journey, and the Patient Caregiver Map, which helps clinicians track relationships in the patient’s household and with doctors and specialists. Health Cloud can also alert care coordinators to events such as medication refills or missed appointments. The Communities platform can help care teams collaborate with each other as well as patients across a variety of devices including tablets and smartphones.

Health Cloud will also include tools that healthcare providers may use in order to facilitate their adherence to their compliance requirements from the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), including features such as Field Audit Trail, Platform Encryption, Data Archive and Event Monitoring.

To deliver the best patient care possible, healthcare providers rely on data sitting in multiple systems. These include EHRs, lab systems, pharmacies and imaging applications. Leveraging a highly connected, cloud based, API driven platform like Salesforce makes it possible to create this comprehensive view of patient data and brings the vision of precision healthcare closer to reality.