May 17, 2020

Microsoft Korea and Samsung Seoul Hospital sign new MOU

Technology
Microsoft
Hospitals
Cloud
Catherine Sturman
3 min
Microsoft Korea
Samsung Seoul Hospital has recently partnered with Microsoft Korean in order to build a new artificial intelligence precision medical system, utilising...

Samsung Seoul Hospital has recently partnered with Microsoft Korean in order to build a new artificial intelligence precision medical system, utilising Microsoft Azure. The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed by both parties at the Samsung Medical Centre (SMC) on Monday.

The agreement covers the sharing of information and analysing of medical data within this new cloud platform, which will enable better informed clinical decision surrounding the delivery of patient care. The technology will also allow the growth of disease-specific prediction models.

Microsoft Korea will work to implement the IT infrastructure required in order to undertake essential medical data processing and analysis. SMC will also work to promote three new AI pilot research projects, which cover genome data, sleep data and image and video data.

"I am confident that Samsung and Microsoft will collaborate in the medical AI field to confirm the feasibility of cloud-based AI research that is expected to be activated in the future, and to achieve substantial results," commented Soondong Koh, Chief Executive Officer at Microsoft Korea. “We look forward to continuing to work together to build AI-based precision medical systems. "

"The signing of this MOU is meaningful in that it meets medical and IT technologies and provides practical solutions to improve the quality of life,” he added.

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"By actively supporting Microsoft's world-class AI, machine learning, and cloud technologies, we will help Samsung Medical Center achieve stable and successful digital transformation in the medical field.”

The company will work to create a new deep learning system which will house the ability to predict lung fibrosis accuracy through the use of image data, such as X-rays. A deep learning algorithm will also be implemented surrounding the use of sleep data, in order to predict chronic, long-term conditions such as sleep apnoea.

SMC has also worked strenuously to develop a new medical research information platform as a result of its ambitions to create a new health-centered AI infrastructure. Through utilising Microsoft’s artificial intelligence algorithm and cloud infrastructures, the two company’s have built new AI models for disease specific AI diagnosis, such as diagnosing early stage cancers.

Additionally, the agreement will see Microsoft provide essential training to SMC’s medical staff to ensure they are fully aware of the long-term advantages of AI and how it will complement up and coming healthcare-models.

The agreement furthers Samsung’s dive into the healthcare space, where its division, Samsung Electronics, is looking at building mental health programs through the use of virtual reality (VR) technology. The tech giant has partnered with Gangnam Severance Hospital and FNI with ambitions to deliver this service to acute care settings by 2018.

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May 13, 2021

Birdie aims to reinvent elderly care with tech

homecare
elderlycare
digitalhealthcare
medicationscheduling
3 min
We take a look at homecare software startup Birdie, who are aiming to transform elderly care in the UK

British startup Birdie has announced it has raised £8.2 million to invest in innovation and scale up the business. 

The company's announcement is timely as it follows the criticism of the UK government over their lack of a plan for social care, despite acknowledging the sector is in crisis - around a quarter of the UK's home care providers are on the brink of bankruptcy due to a lack of funds and staffing. 

Birdie was born with a mission to  "radically improve the lives of millions of older adults", by using app-based solutions, IoT and machine learning to put preventative care at the forefront.  The company was founded by Max Parmentier,  after experiencing his own frustrations with the care system - his grandfather struggled with the impact of life in a care home, but lacked any other option. 

In 2017 Parmentier partnered with venture builder Kamet Ventures to  set up Birdie, in a bid to fix this problem. Since then, Birdie has partnered with almost 500 providers across the UK, and supports more than 20,000 older people every week. In the past 12 months alone the number of people Birdie supports has got six times greater. 

Birdie’s solution is an app to help care providers deliver more coordinated, personalised and preventative care, by giving them access to digital assessments, medication scheduling and planning tools. By using digital tools to take care of admin, staff have more time to spend with their care recipients. 

The new investment will be used to fund Birdie’s next phase of growth in the UK, as the company scales to meet the rapidly growing demand of the aging population. The company will also invest in product innovation, creating new features to address customer requests.

In addition, Birdie is piloting new care models, including partnering with the NHS to identify COVID-19 symptoms, building predictive pharmacy models with AI, and helping health authorities to detect early warning signs of patients’ health risks.

Internally, Birdie is committed to having a progressive company ethos. All salaries are transparent, and staff work asynchronously to maximise flexibility and equity. Staff members also volunteer in their local community during office hours, and the company offsets all its emissions.

These efforts have led to numerous awards, including having the best SME culture in the UK, an Honorable Mention in the Health category of Fast Company’s 2021 World Changing Ideas Awards, and innovation in care at the LangBuisson awards. 

“We believe the future of care for older people should be helping them to live at home for as long as possible through the delivery of personalised and preventative care" Parmentier said. 

"Birdie is already the partner of choice for caregivers up and down the UK, and this new funding will help us rapidly increase the number we partner with and what we can offer them - meaning more people benefiting from more affordable, quality care. We’re proud of our mission and the values we embody to pursue it.” 

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