Microsoft offers free healthcare IT development interface

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Microsoft has released a health common user interface (CUI), providing platform-independent guidance for designing clinical interfaces that can be implemented on any software technology, as well as a reference implementation on its platform and its .NET framework.

The CUI design guide proposes a standard for the display of critical medical details. Microsoft said during a user-centered design process, more than 100 clinical needs were identified for standardization -- from how names are displayed to the display of patient information, dosages and dates.

The CUI toolkit turns the design guide into software components that developers and health customers can deploy, at no cost, in their own existing or upcoming clinical applications, Microsoft said.

The company said the guidance and software code are available for download at