$ 40 million. It is the size of the investment put on the plate by Microsoft for the initiative AI for Health announced today. With an expected duration of five years, it will be part of the wider AI for Good program and aiming to exploit the potential of theartificial intelligence in the territory of the medical-scientific research, making them accessible to scholars and organizations around the world.
Microsoft: AI for Health, IA and research
The importance of sharing information and a collaborative approach to solving problems that sometimes arise in an emergency form in the healthcare sector (the current coronavirus crisis is an example) is fundamental. The Redmond group is well aware that by signing this new commitment it aims to guarantee a non-profit organizations, universities and research institutes access to the most advanced technologies as well as resources and experts, facilitating the achievement of results and improving access to care. These are the words of Brad Smith, President of Microsoft.
With artificial intelligence we have the opportunity to solve some of humanity's biggest problems. Improving the health conditions of communities around the world is certainly one of them. Giving the possibility of using such a powerful tool as AI to experts who face these types of challenges every day can certainly accelerate the creation of new solutions and improve access to care by the most disadvantaged populations. This is the goal of AI for Health.
Three macro-areas on which the project will focus:
- Research (Quest for Discovery) to accelerate medical research by improving activities related to disease prevention, diagnosis and treatment;
- Global health data (Global Health Insights) to increase knowledge and shared understanding of mortality and longevity so as to protect us from global health crises;
- Fair health (Health Equity) to reduce medical and health inequalities by improving access to care among disadvantaged populations.
It is impossible not to see the imprint of the former CEO Bill Gates, with his Foundation still engaged in the difficult task of helping to eradicate some of the diseases that afflict parts of the world where the availability of therapies is still limited. As part of the AI for Health project, Microsoft will enhance some collaborations already in place such as those that focus on solving problems concerning, for example, cradle death syndrome, leprosy and the diagnosis of diabetic retinopathy. Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Intelligent Retinal Imaging Systems (IRIS), Novartis Foundation, PATH and Seattle Children's Research Institute join the BRAC program.