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PM Narendra Modi plays ‘postman’ to convey wishes to Rio players

Talking about the Rio Olympics, PM said: "We have many expectations, but it is also the responsibility of the 1.25 billion Indians to boost their morale"

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India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi gestures as he addresses a gathering in New Delhi, India, January 16, 2016. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday, July 31, said he would play the “postman” to relay the people’s best wishes to the Indian contingent for the Rio Olympics, adding that it was the responsibility of the 1.25 billion Indians to cheer the squad.

In his radio programme ‘Mann Ki Baat’, Modi touched upon various matters ranging from bank frauds to antibiotic resistance but did not speak about any political issues, including that of the violence in Kashmir Valley which has left over 50 people dead since July 9.

Talking about the Rio Olympics, the Prime Minister said: “We have many expectations, but it is also the responsibility of the 1.25 billion Indians to boost their morale.”

“Every Indian should wish the players. I am ready to do this and be your postman,” Modi said, urging people to send their wishes on the Narendra Modi App.

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Modi also referred to the Monsoon and floods, stating that the government was making all efforts to mitigate the situation.

“We were worried about drought till some time back, and now, as we enjoy monsoon, we are also getting reports of floods. Both the state and the Central governments are working together to help those affected by the floods,” Modi said.

“Despite the few difficulties the rains bring, every person is delighted with the rains as it lies at the centre of all our economic and agricultural activities,” he said.

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Talking about former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, whose first death anniversary was observed on July 27, Modi said the country needed to focus on research and innovation in the field of technology to fulfil Kalam’s dream.

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“We can only fulfil Kalam’s dream if the next generation works towards developing technology which can be used in day-to-day life.”

“Technology keeps changing from time-to-time, you can’t hold the technology. The coming century is technology-driven. Therefore, we must focus on research and innovation in technology,” the Prime Minister said.

Touching on the topic of health care, Modi urged people not to take antibiotics without the prescription. He warned people against “antibiotic resistance” and stressed on the need to maintain cleanliness to fight Dengue.

Expressing concern over pregnancy-related deaths and other complications, Modi said government hospitals and other facilities will provide free medical care to pregnant women in the country.

He urged doctors to join in the government’s mission to provide free medical care once in a month to pregnant women in their areas.

Modi cautioned against phishing emails that lure people into sending money and cheat them.

The Prime Minister also called upon people to send him suggestions for his speech on Independence Day. (IANS)

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New AI Model to Identify the Risk of Heart Disease in Indians

Besides Apollo, Microsoft is also planning to extend the AI model to other healthcare providers

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Novel Microsoft-Apollo AI model to predict heart disease risk for Indians. Pixabay

In a novel effort to predict the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) among the Indian population, Microsoft India and Apollo Hospitals on Friday launched the first-ever Artificial Intelligence (AI)-powered heart disease risk score API (application programme interface).

Part of Microsoft’s “AI Network for Healthcare” initiative, it will help doctors across the Apollo network of hospitals leverage the AI-powered API to predict risk of CVD and drive preventive cardiac care across the country.

Nearly three million heart attacks happen in India every year and 30 million Indians suffer from coronary diseases. However, even with various heart disease risk models available worldwide, doctors and cardiologists are unable to identify the probability of CVD in Indians.

“The AI-based models available worldwide were formed decades ago and are based on the western population. Our new API score is based on the data of 4,000 Indians shared by Apollo Hospitals and can easily identify the level of risk each patient has,” Anil Bhansali, Managing Director, Microsoft India (R&D), told IANS.

“We come in as a technology partner or expert in the AI domain, where we collaborate with healthcare providers and doctors to integrate data to help build the AI model,” Bhansali added.

Built on Microsoft’s Cloud computing platform Azure, the new AI-based heart risk score helps gauge a patient’s risk for heart disease and provides rich insights to doctors on treatment plans and early diagnosis.

The API score considers 21 risk factors including lifestyle attributes such as diet, tobacco and smoking preferences and physical activity as well as psychological stress and anxiety as reflected via rate of respiration, hypertension and systolic and diastolic blood pressure.

“The score categorises risk into high, moderate and minimal and also provides insights on the top modifiable risk contributors, thereby assisting physicians to consult patients in a more holistic way, while providing insights to patients for lifestyle modification and timely interventions,” Bhansali elaborated.

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Representational image. (IANS)

When a patient goes for a cardio health check, the doctor can build up a more accurate cardio-vascular health profile of the patient based on Machine Learning (ML) of all their previous patient data.

AI can, in turn, predict future coronary ailments the patient might experience in the next 10 to 20 years based on these multiple factors.

“This heart risk score for Indian populace is a true example of how precision healthcare can accelerate prevention of cardio-vascular disease and reduce disease burden,” Bhansali noted.

According to Sangita Reddy, Joint Managing Director, Apollo Hospitals, the partnership is aimed at designing new tools and equip doctors in the fight against non-communicable diseases.

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“The amalgamation of AI and ML with the global expertise of our doctors will help prevent heart disease, save lives and ensure those with heart disease can make informed choices on their health,” Reddy said in a statement.

Besides Apollo, Microsoft is also planning to extend the AI model to other healthcare providers.

“While we are currently working with Apollo, we are also in the process of identifying partners where we can actually try this API score,” Bhansali told IANS.

“In the last couple of years we have been working on how Cloud technology, particularly AI, can help in reducing the overall disease burden. Our first step towards this, as part of the healthcare partnership, is developing the cardiac risk score for Indian population,” Bhansali added. (IANS)