Microsoft, L V Prasad Eye Institute and Global Experts Collaborate to Launch Microsoft Intelligent Network for Eyecare

Hyderabad, 19 December 2016: Continuing to enhance real life impact through technology, Microsoft India, in collaboration with L V Prasad Eye Institute, today launched Microsoft Intelligent Network for Eyecare (MINE). This is a mission-driven global consortium of like-minded commercial, research and academic institutions who have joined hands to apply artificial intelligence to help in the elimination of avoidable blindness and scale delivery of eyecare services worldwide.

The partner organizations of this consortium include Bascom Palmer – University of Miami, Flaum Eye Institute – University of Rochester (USA), Federal University of Sao Paulo (Brazil) and Brien Holden Vision Institute (Australia). The partner organizations will collaborate and collectively work on diverse datasets of patients across geographies to come up with machine learning predictive models for vision impairment and eye disease. This will include the rate of change of myopia in children, conditions that impact children’s eyesight, predictive outcomes of refractive surgery, optimal surgery parameters as well as ways to personalize a surgery and maximize its probability of success. By studying this data and applying advanced analytics with Microsoft machine learning technology to derive insights, MINE will aim to drive strategies to prevent avoidable blindness and help increase efficiency in the delivery of eyecare worldwide. Currently 285 million people are visually impaired, of which 55 million reside in India. As the technology driver, Microsoft will deploy its leading cloud platform technology – Cortana Intelligence Suite, for advanced analytics and to build Artificial Intelligence models on eyecare.

Speaking on the occasion, Anil Bhansali, Managing Director, Microsoft India (R&D) Pvt. Ltd., said, “By using our capabilities and pioneering work in the field of machine learning over the years, Microsoft has helped accelerate digital transformation in various key sectors in India, including agriculture and education. Today, I am happy to take forward the work we have done in healthcare with an esteemed set of partners. MINE, a global collaboration, reinforces Microsoft’s belief in the combined power of data, cloud and advanced analytics to drive public good. In our shared vision to eradicate preventive blindness, MINE will help redefine eyecare by bringing together the power of technology and knowledge of global experts.”

“At LVPEI, we have been using Microsoft Azure Machine Learning and Power BI to drive clinical interventions and improve patient outcomes. Today, we take great pride in taking forward our partnership with Microsoft and joining forces with global institutes to revolutionize the field of ophthalmology in India and across the world. We are confident that this partnership will not only open doors to opportunities in the field of eyecare, 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.

Joining the event via Skype, Joseph Sirosh, Corporate Vice President of Data Group at Microsoft, said, “At Microsoft, our ambition is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. 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.“

As next steps, MINE will bring together different partner organizations on Azure and collectively work on ideas of impact.

About Microsoft Machine Learning

Machine Learning is one of Microsoft’s key focus areas and one in which the company is making significant inroads, both by way of research and development breakthroughs as well as translating the outcome into real customer impact. Microsoft has engaged with L V Prasad Eye Institute to build a predictive model that helps predict regression rates for eye operations, enabling doctors to pinpoint the procedures needed to prevent and treat visual impairments. To boost Andhra Pradesh’s education ecosystem, Microsoft has been working with the state government on a machine learning based model to analyze and predict drop outs and take preventive action. To aid digital agriculture in Andhra Pradesh, Microsoft has partnered with ICRISAT to provide powerful cloud-based predictive analytics to empower farmers with crucial information and insights to help reduce crop failures and increase yield, in turn, reducing stress and generating better income.

About Microsoft India

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) Microsoft is the leading platform and productivity company for the mobile-first, cloud-first world, and its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. Microsoft set up its India operations in 1990. Today, Microsoft entities in India have over 7,000 employees engaged in sales and marketing, research and development, and customer services and support across ten cities – Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Gurgaon, Hyderabad, Kochi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Pune.

About LVPEI

The L V Prasad Eye Institute (LVPEI) was established in 1987 at Hyderabad as a not-for-profit, non-government, public-spirited, comprehensive eye care institution. LVPEI is governed by two trusts: the Hyderabad Eye Institute and the Hyderabad Eye Research Foundation. The Institute is a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Prevention of Blindness and a Global Resource Center for VISION 2020: The Right to Sight initiative. LVPEI has six active arms to its areas of operations namely Clinical Services, Education, Research, Rehabilitation and Sight Enhancement Services, Eye Bank, and Public Health and Rural Outreach. The LVPEI network comprises a ‘Centre of Excellence’ in Hyderabad, 3 tertiary centers in Bhubaneswar, Visakhapatnam and Vijayawada, 16 secondary and 141 primary care centers that cover the remotest rural areas in the four states of Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and Karnataka. For more information, visit www.lvpei.org