Microsoft Is Aggressively Investing In Healthcare AI


Earlier this month, healthcare artificial intelligence (AI) company Paige announced a new partnership with renowned technology giant, Microsoft.

Paige describes itself as a company at the forefront of technology and healthcare, especially in the field of cancer diagnostics and pathology. The company explains its mission: “Led by a team of experts in the fields of life sciences, oncology, pathology, technology, machine learning, and healthcare…[we strive] to transform cancer diagnostics. We make it possible not only to provide additional information from digital slides to help pathologists perform their diagnostic work efficiently and confidently, but also to go beyond by extracting novel insights from digital slides that can’t be seen by the naked eye. These unique tissue signatures have the potential to help guide treatment decisions and enable the development of novel biomarkers from tissues for diagnostic, pharmaceutical and life sciences companies.”

The company offers a variety of solutions. On the clinical front, Paige’s AI tools enable advanced diagnostics in the lab with computational pathology, which can be leveraged to identify complex tissue patterns. On the pharmaceutical front, the company’s tools offer new ways to identify and analyze tissue biomarkers, pushing forward diagnostic and predictive capabilities.

Given its new partnership with Microsoft, the goal will be to use the latter’s incredibly robust resources in healthcare and technology to further unlock value in Paige’s tools. Andy Moye, CEO of Paige explained: “In Microsoft, we’ve really found a partner that shares our vision in how healthcare is going to be transformed … For us, the vision we talked to Microsoft about is, how do we help create the digitization of pathology? How do we ensure that these tools are being used to get better patient care, to get better patient outcomes?”

Rightly so, Microsoft’s work in healthcare has grown tremendously in the last few years. The company has invested billions in developing important hardware tools such as HoloLens, which have genuine potential applications in the future of care delivery. Moreover, the company has also invested significant time and resources on the software side. The company’s robust Cloud offering in healthcare is the backbone of some of the largest healthcare organizations in the world. Through these services, Microsoft has helped unlock significant value in the areas of “enhance[ing] patient engagement, empower[ing] health team collaboration, improv[ing] patient-provider experiences, boost[ing] clinician productivity, improv[ing] health data insights, and protect[ing] health information.”

This partnership also comes at a time when the entire world is shifting attention to artificial intelligence. The world’s largest tech companies, ranging from Google, to Amazon and Apple, have unequivocally agreed that AI is the next frontier in technological innovation. Healthcare is just one of the many sectors that AI can potentially disrupt in a positive manner. At the very least, AI will likely enable novel ways to analyze, learn from, and utilize the terabytes of healthcare data that is generated annually.

Of course, AI technology is still largely immature for the most part, especially when it comes to applications in healthcare. Innovators still need to invest significant time and efforts in creating safe, ethical, and patient-centered use-cases for the technology. However, if developed correctly, the technology may change the face of healthcare for generations to come.



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