Microsoft launches Microsoft Intelligent Network for Eyecare in India

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Earlier today, Microsoft India, in collaboration with L V Prasad Eye Institute, launched Microsoft Intelligent Network for Eyecare (MINE), a new organization aimed at encouraging similarly motivated commercial, research, and academic institutions to help prevent avoidable blindness in individuals through the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning.

“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,” Microsoft India’s managing director, Anil Bhansali, said of the collaboration. “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 preventive blindness, MINE will help redefine eyecare by bringing together the power of technology and knowledge of global experts.”

L V Prasad Eye Institute’s founder-chair, Dr. G.N. Rao, was also present at the announcement and revealed a bit about his company’s current progress and how they will be combining their efforts with Microsoft going forward.

“At LVPEI, we have been using Microsoft Azure Machine Learning and Power BI to drive clinical interventions and improve patient outcomes,” he explained. “Today, we take great pride in taking forward our partnership with Microsoft and joining forces with global institutes to revolutionize 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 eyecare, but also pave way for others to leverage technology to address several other critical eye diseases.”

Microsoft’s corporate vice president of data group, Joseph Sirosh, reportedly joined the announcement via Skype and specified that the Microsoft Cortana Intelligence Suite would be one of the tools used going forward with this project. “This unique partnership with LVPEI and the consortium brings the best in the field together to reimagine healthcare using machine learning through the Microsoft Cortana Intelligence Suite,” he said. “We will continue to drive our investments in cloud, machine learning and advanced analytics to provide the building blocks to empower people and organizations to build, innovate and transform.”

Some specific eye-related conditions mentioned in the press release were, “rate of change of myopia in children, conditions that impact children’s eyesight, predictive outcomes of refractive surgery,” and improving eye surgery conditions and practices.

Are you impressed with Microsoft’s initiative? Is there another area that you would like to see them focus on? Let us know in the comments below.