Microsoft partners with Adaptive Biotechnologies in a new project
Microsoft has recently announced that it has entered a partnership with biotech company Adaptive Biotechnologies as part of its NExT initiative.
Both companies will work in collaboration to develop a new blood screening test to enable medical professionals to diagnose a number of diseases in one sole screening, and improve the ongoing treatment in chronic diseases such as cancer.
Through mapping the genetics of the human immune system, Microsoft will bring machine learning and exceptional cloud technology to the fore, in order to support Adaptive’s immune sequencing and blood diagnostics, gaining increased insight through essential data produced in real-time.
“This announcement comes at a time of inflection in healthcare and biotechnology. We now have the technology to be able to do what we’ve been talking about for the past decade – develop a universal TCR antigen map that presents an opportunity to help patients at an unprecedented scale,” explained Chad Robins, President, CEO and Co-Founder of Adaptive Biotechnologies.
“Some conditions like cancer or autoimmune disorders can be difficult to diagnose, but this universal map of the immune system will enable earlier and more accurate diagnosis of disease, potentially helping physicians to connect the dots to understand the relationship between disease states and eventually lead to a better understanding of overall human health.”
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“We are very excited and inspired by our collaboration with Adaptive Biotechnologies, as it clearly advances our mission to use cloud and AI technologies to transform healthcare and improve the lives of people around the world,” explained Peter Lee, Corporate Vice President, AI and Research, at Microsoft.
“This collaboration combines powerful sequencing and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies into a revolutionary new capability, and represents the kind of deep collaborative partnership that we live for.”
“Imagine a world in which an ‘X-Ray of the immune system’ actually exists,” Lee also highlighted in a blog post. “This would open new doors to predictive medicine, as a person’s immunological history is believed to shape their response to new pathogens and treatments in ways that are currently impossible to explore.
The impact on human health of such a universal blood test that reads a person’s exposure and response to disease would be, in a word, transformational.”
NHS care homes are better than private, report finds
A new survey has found that 60% of people with parents in NHS care homes believe the quality of care has improved, compared to just 49% of respondents with parents in private care facilities.
The survey was conducted by Kepler Vision Technologies, an AI-driven company formed at the University of Amsterdam. It was carried out among UK adults with parents over the age of 75.
Respondents cited more capable care staff and better monitoring systems as being the main reasons for improvement.
However those who do not have parents in assisted living facilities had a different viewpoint - in this case only 35% of respondents believe that NHS facilities are improving, compared to 32% who believe it is only improving in the private sector.
Only 18% of people whose parents live with them or independently believe care home staff are able to look after residents to a good standard.
Kepler Vision say this difference in opinion is due to perceived budget cuts and financial pressures, with 67% of people commenting that a lack of funding has had a negative effect on care in both NHS and private care facilities.
Other key findings of the survey include:
* Out of those who say quality has declined in care homes, 69% say the NHS is dealing with budget cuts and increased financial pressure, while 65% also said that the private system is dealing with these pressures too
* 55% said that they or their parent have money saved specifically to pay for their future care
* 35% said the idea of their parent in a care home makes them feel frightened, although 32% say it makes them feel secure
* 52% are worried about their parent catching COVID
* 47% are worried about their parent being lonely
* 46% are concerned they could fall over alone
The announcement of this research follows the UK government's decision to delay presenting its social care budget till the autumn.
Commenting on the research, Dr Harro Stokman, CEO of Kepler Vision Technologies said: “While it is good to see that people recognise the importance of staff and face-to-face interaction in elderly care, the huge gap in opinion between those with parents in care and those without shows that there are unfair negative perceptions around the residential care space.
"More can and should be done by care homes to give people the confidence that their relatives will receive the very best care - by highlighting the excellent work of staff and how well they are able to monitor resident’s needs with easy-to-use technology.”