Saturday November 17, 2018

Microsoft, Apollo Hospitals to use AI for cardiac diseases

The partnership was announced at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) annual conference and exhibition in Las Vegas

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Microsoft
Microsoft's new Surface products include 1st-ever headphones. Wikimedia Commons
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  • Microsoft and Apollo Hospitals join hands to expand AI in healthcare
  • The AI will be used to treat cardiac diseases
  • Initially, it only aimed at tracking vision problems

Targetting cardiac diseases, Microsoft has partnered with Apollo Hospitals to expand its healthcare artificial intelligence (AI) offering, the software giant said in a statement on Thursday.

Apollo Hospitals and microsoft teams up to treat diseases using AI.
Apollo Hospitals and Microsoft team up to treat diseases using AI.

The AI Network for healthcare, previously known as Microsoft Intelligent Network for Eyecare (MINE), is a part of Microsoft Healthcare NExT aimed to accelerate healthcare innovation through artificial intelligence and cloud computing.

Initially aimed at tackling only visions problems, AI Network for healthcare will now collaborate with Apollo to develop and deploy new machine learning models to predict patient risk for heart disease and assists doctors on treatment plans.

Also Read: Microsoft completes renewable energy deal for Bengaluru facility

“AI Network for healthcare aims to democratise AI by empowering healthcare providers with faster, intuitive and predictable solutions and reducing the disease burden. The systems of intelligence we create can change the lives of patients and the work of medical practitioners enabling accessible healthcare to all,” said Peter Lee, Corporate Vice President (AI and Research) at MS.

“Cardiac disease is amongst India’s leading causes of mortality and morbidity, which is exacting a toll on the health and well-being of our citizens,” said Sangita Reddy, Joint Managing Director, Apollo Hospitals.

Microsoft acquired the start-up PlayFab. Pixabay
The initiative was initially only for vision problems. Pixabay

“The collaboration with Microsoft’s path-breaking technologies like AI and machine learning will help better predict, prevent and manage heart disease in the country,” Reddy added.

The partnership was announced at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) annual conference and exhibition in Las Vegas. IANS

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Refugee Communities Can Be Built By Tech Industries

Mikkelsen said the initiative was a win-win as it would also benefit companies by slashing costs.

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Refugees
Congolese families sit at the Kyangwali refugee settlement camp, Uganda, March 19, 2018. A California company is testing an app in Uganda that lets refugees earn money for AI training. VOA

Companies could help refugees rebuild their lives by paying them to boost artificial intelligence (AI) using their phones and giving them digital skills, a tech nonprofit said Thursday.

REFUNITE has developed an app, LevelApp, which is being piloted in Uganda to allow people who have been uprooted by conflict to earn instant money by “training” algorithms for AI.

Wars, persecution and other violence have uprooted a record 68.5 million people, according to the U.N. refugee agency.

People forced to flee their homes lose their livelihoods and struggle to create a source of income, REFUNITE co-chief executive Chris Mikkelsen told the Trust Conference in London.

Rohingya, Myanmar, refugees
Rohingya refugees cross floodwaters at Thangkhali refugee camp in Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar district. VOA

“This provides refugees with a foothold in the global gig economy,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation’s two-day event, which focuses on a host of human rights issues.

$20 a day for AI work

A refugee in Uganda currently earning $1.25 a day doing basic tasks or menial jobs could make up to $20 a day doing simple AI labeling work on their phones, Mikkelsen said.

REFUNITE says the app could be particularly beneficial for women as the work can be done from the home and is more lucrative than traditional sources of income such as crafts.

The cash could enable refugees to buy livestock, educate children and access health care, leaving them less dependant on aid and helping them recover faster, according to Mikkelsen.

Rohingya, Myanmar, refugees
Rohingya refugee women wait outside of a medical center at Jamtoli camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. VOA

The work would also allow them to build digital skills they could take with them when they returned home, REFUNITE says.

“This would give them the ability to rebuild a life … and the dignity of no longer having to rely solely on charity,” Mikkelsen told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Teaching the machines

AI is the development of computer systems that can perform tasks that normally require human intelligence.

It is being used in a vast array of products from driverless cars to agricultural robots that can identify and eradicate weeds and computers able to identify cancers.

Refugees
In this Aug. 27, 1994 file photo, U.S. Coast Guard crew from the cutter Staten Island are hindered by rough seas in the Florida Straits as they attempt to rescue Cuban refugees. VOA

In order to “teach” machines to mimic human intelligence, people must repeatedly label images and other data until the algorithm can detect patterns without human intervention.

REFUNITE, based in California, is testing the app in Uganda where it has launched a pilot project involving 5,000 refugees, mainly form South Sudan and Democratic Republic of Congo. It hopes to scale up to 25,000 refugees within two years.

Also Read: Rohingyas Repatriation to Myanmar Scrapped by Bangladesh

Mikkelsen said the initiative was a win-win as it would also benefit companies by slashing costs.

Another tech company, DeepBrain Chain, has committed to paying 200 refugees for a test period of six months, he said. (VOA)