Microsoft’s ‘AI for Health’ initiative commits $20 million to COVID-19 research

The initiative will use AI to research treatment and recommend allocation of limited services

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Microsoft is leveraging its ‘AI for Health’ initiative to focus on aiding the fight against COVID-19 by dedicating $20 million USD (about $28 million CAD) to research.

The tech giant launched the initiative back in January to advance healthcare around the world, but is now shifting its focus to expand COVID-19 research.

“Given the global scale of the pandemic, technology will play a critical role in nearly every facet of addressing COVID-19, from using AI to crunch massive datasets to analyzing disease vectors and identifying treatment impacts,” Microsoft notes in a blog post.

The initiative will focus on five aspects where Microsoft believes data, analysis and the skills of its data scientists can have the biggest impact. For instance, it will focus on data and insights to examine people’s safety and economic impacts of the virus.

Research efforts will also examine possible treatment and diagnostics to further research the development of vaccines and therapeutics. Another aspect will look into the proper allocation of resources to recommend how limited assets such as medical supplies and hospital space should be distributed and used.

The fourth point of focus will be dissemination of accurate information to minimize misinformation sharing. Lastly, the initiative is going to advance scientific research to study and understand COVID-19.

Source: Microsoft