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Microsoft Behind AI Drive for Greater Global Eye Care

mivision | 30 January 2017
Artificial intelligence (AI) is to be applied by a new global collaborative consortium to help eliminate avoidable blindness and scale delivery of eye care services worldwide.

The Microsoft Intelligent Network for Eyecare (MINE) was launched by Microsoft India, in collaboration with L V Prasad Eye Institute. Partnering organisations include Bascom Palmer – University of Miami, Flaum Eye Institute – University of Rochester (USA), Federal University of Sao Paulo (Brazil) and Brien Holden Vision Institute (Australia).

The consortium, described by Professor Kovin Naidoo, CEO of Brien Holden Vision Institute, as “a novel initiative” will collaborate and collectively work on diverse datasets of patients across geographies to come up with machine learning predictive models for vision impairment and eye disease. This will include the rate of change of myopia in children, conditions that impact children’s eyesight, predictive outcomes of refractive surgery, optimal surgery parameters as well as ways to personalise surgery and maximise the probability of success. By studying this data and applying advanced analytics with Microsoft machine learning technology to derive insights, MINE will aim to drive strategies to prevent avoidable blindness and help increase efficiency in the delivery of eye care worldwide.

Currently 285 million people are visually impaired, of which 55 million reside in India. As the technology driver, Microsoft will deploy its leading cloud platform technology – Cortana Intelligence Suite, for advanced analytics and to build Artificial Intelligence models on eye care.

Speaking at the launch of MINE, Anil Bhansali, Managing Director, Microsoft India (R&D) said, “by using our capabilities and pioneering work in the field of machine learning over the years, Microsoft has helped accelerate digital transformation in various key sectors in India, including agriculture and education. Today, I am happy to take forward the work we have done in healthcare with an esteemed set of partners. MINE, a global collaboration, reinforces Microsoft’s belief in the combined power of data, cloud and advanced analytics to drive public good. In our shared vision to eradicate preventable blindness, MINE will help redefine eye care by bringing together the power of technology and knowledge of global experts.”

Dr. G.N. Rao, Founder-Chair, L V Prasad Eye Institute, said “at LVPEI, we have been using Microsoft Azure Machine Learning and Power AI to drive clinical interventions and improve patient outcomes. Today, we take great pride in taking forward our partnership with Microsoft and joining forces with global institutes to revolutionise the field of ophthalmology in India and across the world. We are confident that this partnership will not only open doors to opportunities in the field of eye care, but also pave the way for others to leverage technology to address several other critical eye diseases,” he said.

Kovin Naidoo added, “this is a novel initiative that has the potential to achieve positive impact by bringing together researchers and health care professionals in the eye care field to harness the power of shared data and thus generate more effective solutions for vision problems.”

As next steps, MINE will bring together different partner organisations on Azure and collectively work on ideas of impact.

' MINE will aim to drive strategies to prevent avoidable blindness and help increase efficiency in the delivery of eye care worldwide '