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Microsoft and Novartis Fight MS Using Kinect

February 9, 2016

Microsoft research has teamed up with Swiss-based pharmaceutical company Novartis to try and help the medical professionals better assess the health of MS patients.

The two companies are using Microsoft’s Kinect as a special tool, called Assess MS, that can carefully monitor and asses a patient’s movements to determine whether the disease is progressing or not.

Patients can come into a doctor’s office and go through a set of exercises designed to show whether they’re suffering from MS and whether their symptoms are getting worse. But until now doctors could only rely on their own observations and interpretation, meaning the results of the test were often times subjective and only a poor measure of how a patient was actually doing. But using the Kinect a doctor is now able to objectively measure how the patient is doing.

It isn’t the Kinect that is used by Xbox owners everywhere, instead it’s a tweaked version that has entirely new algorithms and relies on machine learning to identify potential symptoms of MS and compare a person’s movements to earlier performance.

After years of research and development the two teams have created a proof-of-concept model. This will further be enhanced by continuing the machine learning process and tweaking algorithms but hopefully it won’t be long until the technology behind Assess MS is in doctors’ offices and helping people.

Watch the video below to see how it was created!