Microsoft launches AI for Health to improve global healthcare

Microsoft launches AI for Health to improve global healthcare
US$40 million programme aims to help researchers solve disease and malnutrition

Elly Yates-Roberts |

Microsoft has launched a new US$40 million, five-year AI for Health programme to accelerate global healthcare initiatives and help researchers and non-profits address widespread disease and malnutrition. 

As part of its broader AI for Good initiative, the company will give research organisations access to the latest technology, resources and experts to use artificial intelligence (AI) to improve access to care for all. The initiative will focus on three key areas:  

  • Accelerating medical research to advance prevention, diagnoses, and treatment of diseases
  • Increasing the shared understanding of mortality and longevity to protect against global health crises
  • Reducing health inequity and improving access to care for underserved populations

“Artificial intelligence has the potential to solve some of humanities greatest challenges, like improving the health of communities around the world,” said Brad Smith, president of Microsoft. “We know that putting this powerful technology into the hands of experts tackling this problem can accelerate new solutions and improve access for underserved populations. That’s why we created AI for Health.”

Microsoft will work with organisations such as BRAC, the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Intelligent Retinal Imaging Systems (IRIS), Novartis Foundation, PATH, and Seattle Children’s Research Institute. Together, they will work to understand the cause of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), eliminate leprosy and detect diabetic retinopathy to prevent blindness. 

“Along with Microsoft, we believe there is tremendous power in using AI to help us see all communities, identify the diseases that affect them, and ultimately improve the way they deliver care,” said Jeff Bernson of PATH. “Only when every community has the opportunity to transform their health can all of humanity advance.” 

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