Microsoft launches new healthcare division based on artificial intelligence software

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Microsoft is setting up a new healthcare department at its ­Cambridge research facility, as part of plans to use its artificial intelligence software to ­enter the health market.

The computer giant has created the division as part of its commitment to “transform healthcare” using technologies such as machine learning and cloud computing.

Its research plans ­include monitoring systems that can help keep patients out of hospitals and alert them in a timely manner about problems, and large studies into ­diseases such as diabetes.

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

Mr Buchan said the team’s ­research could include developing predictive analytic tools, and personal health information systems, as well as using AI to ­target interventions.

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