Stanford partners with Microsoft's AI for Health initiative to expand medical research datasets 

Stanford (Calif.) University Medical Center is expanding its free artificial intelligence data repository it created with Microsoft, the health system said Aug. 2. 

Stanford's Center for Artificial Intelligence in Medicine and Imaging teamed up with Microsoft's AI for Health Program to launch a new platform that will be more automated, accessible and visible than the system's current medical imaging database, which was created two years ago. 

The center has already acquired annotated datasets for more than 1 million images, many of them from Stanford University Medical Center. Researchers can download the datasets at no cost and use them to train AI models that recommend medical actions. 

"What drives this technology, whether you’re a surgeon or an obstetrician, is data," Matthew Lungren, co-director of AIMI and an assistant professor of radiology at Stanford, said in the news release. "We want to double down on the idea that medical data is a public good, and that it should be open to the talents of researchers anywhere in the world." 

With Microsoft's collaboration, the center will tap into cloud-based computer power to make the medical imaging data easier to host and share among research organizations across the globe. The platform is also free to researchers so they can download data and use it to train AI models for clinical decision support. 

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