Microsoft is heading a new international collaboration that aims to use artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning techniques to develop predictive analytics models to improve eye care services globally.

Referred to as the Microsoft Intelligent Network for Eyecare (MINE), the initiative includes non-profit treatment and research centre, L V Prasad Eye Institute (LVPEI) in India, Bascom Palmer, University of Miami and Flaum Eye Institute, University of Rochester in the US,  Federal University of Sao Paulo in Brazil, and Brien Holden Vision Institute in Australia.

The goal of MINE is to reduce the incidence of preventable blindness and help providers better understand the development of visual impairments by leveraging Microsoft’s AI software, Cortana Intelligence Suite.

“MINE, a global collaboration, reinforces Microsoft’s belief in the combined power of data, cloud and advanced analytics to drive public good,” said Managing Director, Microsoft India (R&D) Pvt. Ltd., Anil Bhansali.

“In our shared vision to eradicate preventive blindness, MINE will help redefine eye care by bringing together the power of technology and knowledge of global experts,” continued Bhansali.

The MINE partners will collectively work on diverse datasets of patients across geographies to develop machine learning predictive models for vision impairment and eye disease.

Initial projects will focus on better predicting the rate of change of myopia in children, formulating more accurate predictions for the outcomes of refractive surgery, and establishing methodologies to personalise surgical procedures and raise the likelihood of success.

“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,” said Corporate Vice President of Data Group at Microsoft, Joseph Sirosh.

“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,” said Founder-Chair of LVPEI , Dr G.N. Rao.

“We are confident that this partnership will not only open doors to opportunities in the field of eye care, but also pave way for others to leverage technology to address several other critical eye diseases,” concluded Dr Rao.

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