Saturday September 22, 2018

Respiratory illness could be prevented from Microsoft Xbox Kinect

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London: Microsoft’s Xbox Kinect, a popular sensor-based gaming console – can assess the respiratory function of patients and spot conditions such as cystic fibrosis, researchers including an Indian origin scientist report.

The team from the University of Warwick and the Institute of Inflammation and Ageing, University of Birmingham and Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust (HEFT) have developed a method to use the gaming device.

The system consists of four Kinect sensors which are capable of quickly creating a 3D image of a patient’s torso.

This enables physicians to measure and assess how a chest wall moves.

In tests, it has proven to be as accurate as a patient breathing into a spirometer, the current method used, but providing additional information about the movement of the chest, which could help in identifying numerous respiratory problems.

“In screening, diagnostics, monitoring therapy and providing bio feedback, the Xbox can be used in any condition affecting breathing, “said Babu Naidu, chief investigator, a thoracic surgeon at HEFT.

“We have developed a low-cost prototype which provides a more comprehensive measurement of a patient’s breathing then existing methods, “added Dr Chris Golby at the Institute of Digital Healthcare, University of Warwick.

Spirometry is the technique most commonly used to treat lung diseases including chronic bronchitis, emphysema and chronic obstructive airways.

The academics put their prototype to trial initially using a resuscitation mannequin, then on healthy volunteers and adults with cystic fibrosis.

As the Kinect has an infrared beam it allowed them to measure changes in distances across the chest wall.

The system uses four sensors which allow measurement of movement from more than one viewpoint.

Using off-the-shelf and bespoke software they were able to create a 3D image of a patient’s chest wall.

“It is also potentially very useful in assessing changes in respiratory physiology that occur during exercise. This is in contrast with existing systems which rely on data from one viewpoint,” Dr Golby noted in a paper published in the journal Medical & Biological Engineering & Computing.

The team is now planning to develop their prototype further using Microsoft’s new version of the Kinect, working with cystic fibrosis and other respiratory conditions.(IANS)

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Microsoft Expanding its ‘Dyanmics 365’ Apps Lineup

The company has also launched AI-infused apps for sales, customer service and market insights as part of the "Dynamics 365" app line-up

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Microsoft adds 2 Mixed Reality business apps to 'Dynamics 365'. Pixabay

Microsoft is expanding its Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based “Dynamics 365” apps lineup with two new Mixed Reality (MR) business apps.

The new apps — called — “Dynamics 365 Remote Assist” and “Dynamics 365 Layout” — have been added with the intention of merging MR and business applications together.

“With the release of our new AI and mixed reality applications, we are taking another step to empower every organisation on the planet to achieve more through the accelerant of business applications,” Alysa Taylor, Corporate Vice President, Business Applications and Industry, Microsoft wrote in a blog post on Tuesday.

The MR business apps will be part of the October release of “Dynamics 365”.

In 2016, Microsoft introduced “Dynamics 365” as a product line of enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) applications to make business apps modern, unified, intelligent and adaptable solutions, integrated with Office 365 and natively built on Microsoft’s Cloud computing service Azure.

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A sign for Microsoft is seen on a building in Cambridge. VOA

By bringing together MR and business applications, the company aims to unify systems and have a holistic view of their business, customers and employees.

“Employees need information in context to apply their knowledge and craft. Not only on a 2-D screen – but information and data in context, at the right place and at the right time and mixed reality is a technology uniquely suited to do exactly that,” Taylor added.

The company has also launched AI-infused apps for sales, customer service and market insights as part of the “Dynamics 365” app line-up.

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“The new ‘Dynamics 365 AI’ offering are a new class of AI applications that will deliver out-of-the-box insights by unifying data and infusing it with advanced intelligence to guide decisions and empower organizations to take informed actions,” wrote Taylor.

These insights are easily extensible through the Microsoft’s business analytics service — Power BI, Azure and the Common Data Service, that could enable organizations to address complex scenarios specific to their business. (IANS)

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