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Microsoft collaborates in the MINE consortium with other global experts that share the same goal. Bascom Palmer – the University of Miami, the Flaum Eye Institute – the University of Rochester (USA), the Federal University of Sao Paulo (Brazil) and the Brien Holden Vision Institute (Australia) are also part of it.

Its focus is on machine learning predictive models that will help to fight vision impairment and eye diseases, primarily in children. MINE will take the point in coming up with strategies to prevent and eliminate avoidable blindness. In addition, it will help increase efficiency in the delivery of eye care around the globe.

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

“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,” said Dr. G.N. Rao, Founder-Chair, L V Prasad Eye Institute.

Microsoft will use Cortana Intelligence Suite to perform advanced analytics and to build predictive artificial intelligence models on eye care. Joseph Sirosh, Corporate Vice President of Data Group at Microsoft, commented on the new partnership:

“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. 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.“

A global problem

According to Microsoft, there are currently 285 million people in the world suffering some form of visual impairment. About 55 million of those are located in India. Thus, it makes sense for Microsoft to form a strategic partnership with one of the country’s best hospitals.

As a result, the two are aiming to build a predictive model that will directly affect the customers. It will predict various eye care services by studying data and applying advanced analytics with machine learning technology.

These include regression rates for eye operations and predicting outcomes of refractive surgery. Enabling doctors to determine exact procedures needed to prevent and treat visual impairments will also be included, among other services.