Microsoft invests $ 40 million in AI for Health program (Artificial Intelligence for Health)

Source: novartisfoundationSource: novartisfoundation

When the themes of Microsoft and world health are crossed, we usually think of the Gates Foundation, due to the various initiatives in favor of a better quality of life for people. But this time, we are not going to deal with the institution run by Bill and his wife Melinda, but with Microsoft's own initiative, called AI for Health (Artificial Intelligence for Health). This is part of the AI ​​for Good program (Artificial Intelligence for Good), which is five years old and has been proving to be a great success for the company, obtaining US $ 40 million to invest in its projects.

AI for Health aims to invest in medical AI research, global health studies and improving health access

The AI ​​for Good program includes initiatives such as AI for Earth, AI for Accessibility, AI for Humanitarian Action and AI for Cultural Heritage. AI for Health aims to invest in research directly in the field of medical AI with works that involve, for example, algorithms to automatically detect any disease. But investments do not stop there, but also invest in global health studies, in order to have a better understanding of how these technologies can be useful for certain purposes, and in improving access, so that the population can really access services. health care more easily with the help of AI.

Cascadia Data Discovery Initiative (Cascadia Data Discovery Initiative or CDDI), developed at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in partnership with Microsoft. Source: MicrosoftCascadia Data Discovery Initiative (Cascadia Data Discovery Initiative or CDDI), developed at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in partnership with Microsoft. Source: Microsoft

Microsoft data analysis director John Kahan says:

"AI for Health is a philanthropic initiative that complements our broader work at Microsoft Healthcare. We will support specific nonprofits and academic collaboration with leading Microsoft data scientists, access to the best in class AI tools and cloud computing and will select cash grants. "

According to Jhon, currently the care in modern health is incredibly unequal, there is no universality and integrality. While in some places it is close to eliminating some diseases, in others the precarious health infrastructure and the weak strategy to reach populations in need are plagued by the same diseases. Of course, it is not a problem that AI would completely solve, but it would help in a way that would facilitate the process.

AI-based screening systems have high efficiency for rapid diagnosis

One example that John cites is AI-based screening systems, which have high efficacy for diabetic retinopathy, a disease that afflicts many people and can cause blindness, in addition to a large population at high risk of contracting it. If the health team obtains data from a village via a smartphone or through an ocular analysis accessory, it would be much easier than sending an ophthalmologist on site.

Use of smartphones to get an early diagnosis. Source: MicrosoftUse of smartphones to get an early diagnosis. Source: Microsoft

The objective of the IA for Health initiative is to carry out projects to identify and implement technologies such as the one mentioned above. The impediment to this is sometimes simply cost and many AI specialists are in the more general technology sector, because where are the jobs. The challenge is to make these professionals think about the advantages of applying artificial intelligence technology to collective health and submit projects so that they can become reality through Microsoft's investment.

Analysis of SIDS, leprosy, diabetic retinopathy, tuberculosis, maternal mortality and cancer are within Microsoft's investments

According to Microsoft, some areas have been identified where there will be a major benefit with the help of the program such as analysis of SIDS, leprosy, diabetic retinopathy, as mentioned above, tuberculosis, maternal mortality and cancer.

Illustrative picture. Source: MicrosoftIllustrative picture. Source: Microsoft

The company announced on the social network some of its partners in the AI ​​for Health program:

"We can't wait to see what our AI for Health donors do to change healthcare for the better:

– Novartis Foundation

– Seattle Children's

– Fred Hutch



– PATH "

Soon after, the company Novartis Foundation, posted on Twitter thanking for the partnership with Microsoft:

"We are happy to share details of our involvement at @Microsoft. The new #AIforHealth program – partnership to share knowledge and develop new innovative AI solutions to accelerate progress in eliminating leprosy!"

Want to participate? See what is needed!

However, the AI ​​for Health program differs from some others offered by Microsoft. To have access to a portion of the $ 40 million invested by the company, the team of people must be part of a non-profit organization or a research organization. If you meet these requirements, try to contact the program's employees.

Check out the video for the AI ​​for Health program below:

Source: Techcrunch, Microsoft

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