Microsoft sets up healthcare department for AI research at Cambridge facility

September 25, 2017
The UK based Cambridge Research facility that Microsoft founded in 1997 employs over 130 engineers and researchers. At the facility basic and applied research into use cases for AI has taken on a life of its own, with the technology becoming more and more important in areas such as diagnostics. For example last year September, Microsoft announced its own AI platform to help oncologists find the right treatment for cancer patients.

Commitment to transform healthcare

Microsoft has created the new research department as part of its commitment to “transform healthcare” using technologies such as machine learning and cloud computing. Research plans range from include monitoring systems that can help keep patients out of hospitals and alert them in a timely manner about problems, to large studies into diseases such as diabetes.

Researcher Iain Buchan, formerly clinical professor in public health informatics at the University of Manchester, has been hired to lead the healthcare research division. A trained doctor and data scientist, Buchan has researched how data can improve healthcare for the past 25 years in ­clinical and academic settings.  

According to The Telegraph, research fields at the new healthcare department could include developing predictive analytic tools, and personal health information systems, as well as using AI to ­target interventions.