Microsoft partners with Apollo Hospitals for AI projects on cardiology

Microsoft partners with Apollo Hospitals for AI projects on cardiology
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1 Aug, 2019

Software giant Microsoft has partnered with Apollo Hospitals to set up a committee for combating cardiovascular diseases as part of the former's initiative Artificial Intelligence (AI) Network for Healthcare. 

Called the National Clinical Coordination Committee (NCCC), the initiative will include doctors from Apollo Hospitals, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi and King George’s Medical University, Lucknow.

The NCCC will provide guidance on all cardiology and cardiovascular-related AI projects, apart from providing clinical insights on developing clinical algorithms and treatment guidelines based on the inferences of a national and multicentre prospective study, according to a statement by Microsoft.

Last year, Microsoft had tied up with Apollo to use an AI programme to predict the odds of a patient being prone to cardiovascular diseases. Under the programme, over 200,000 people have been screened on Microsoft Azure platform across Apollo Hospitals, the company said. 

The AI-powered cardiovascular disease risk score API (application program interface) has been helping doctors to predict the risk score of patients five to seven years in advance, Microsoft said.

“The NCCC will help us immensely in our fight against the rising tsunami of non-communicable diseases (NCDs),” said Sangita Reddy, joint managing director, Apollo Hospitals Group. “We are also extending the scope of our partnership with Microsoft to meet the growing healthcare demands of people across the country and contribute more towards saving precious lives.”

Cardiovascular diseases are the biggest cause of mortality in India, with nearly 25% of deaths among the age group of 25-69 years being attributed to heart diseases, according to Microsoft. The condition also seems to affect Indians at least a decade earlier compared to Europeans.

“We are also engaging global consortium partners to scale the AI-powered API. We have already received approval for a pilot study and we hope that the findings will enable physicians to better understand the causes of cardiovascular diseases in the Indian population,” said Anil Bhansali, corporate vice president for cloud and enterprise at Microsoft. 

Apollo Hospitals has been deploying emerging technologies like AI for other diseases as well. Last year, it had partnered with IBM for adopting its AI platform Watson for oncology and genomics.