New Microsoft Research Director to lead AI health initiative

25 September 2017

27 Sept 2017

Microsoft Research, based in Cambridge, UK, has announced the appointment of its new Director, Prof Ian Buchan, a world leader in public health data and technology.

Buchan will join the Microsoft Research lab in October and will participate in Healthcare NExT – a new Microsoft initiative launched to further integrate artificial intelligence, such as voice recognition and robots, and cloud computing into healthcare services – as part of its global leadership team.

On his new appointment, he said: ‘Microsoft touch our lives more often than clinics, and could help us to act quickly and prevent problems before they need medical attention. The Cambridge lab is an exciting environment, where people think outside the box in ways that are vital for transforming, not merely translating, healthcare with smarter algorithms and connected technologies.’

Buchan joins from the University of Manchester, where his team helps to develop pioneering technologies for the application of data to healthcare. He currently lectures in public health informatics at Manchester and is the Director of the Health eResearch Centre, funded by the Medical Research Council.

His internationally-recognised Manchester team are at the forefront for research into personalised healthcare, which include bioinformatics and software engineering approaches to public health and aims to establish e-health relationships with the NHS – something Buchan wishes to carry with him to his new Microsoft role.

‘Most healthcare organisations record only episodes of care, blind to the full journey of health that connected technologies and smarter models of personal health could reveal. Careful harnessing of new sources of health data and AI could empower patients in this way, building smarter supply chains of healthcare around patients rather than clinics,’ Buchan said.

By Georgina Hines

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