In what’s described as a “landmark” partnership, Microsoft and the United Nations are teaming up to help help predict and fight human rights abuses, among other potential projects. Microsoft is providing a $5 million grant to the UN Human Rights Office, which will support the development of new technology tools for the intergovernmental organization. That includes “Rights View,” a dashboard tool that lets the UN use big data and cloud computing to track potential human rights issues globally in real time.
Futurity highlights an online game that helps fight Alzheimer’s, developed by researchers at Cornell University. The game – Stall Catchers – asks users to search for clogged blood vessels in videos in exchange for points, with the goal of speeding up research that cannot be automated and is reliant on human input.
IBM’s Watson supercomputer has helped diagnose rare forms of Leukemia in at least two instances by comparing patients genetic information against a database of nearly 20 million cancer research papers.
Medgadget highlights the use of computer vision to scan images for early signs of esophageal cancer. From the article:
At the Eidhoven University of Technology (TU Eindhoven) in The Netherlands, a research team has developed a computer vision system that has shown excellent results at identifying early neoplastic lesions, which develop into full blown esophageal cancer, in patients with Barrett’s esophagus. Such lesions are very difficult to spot, and not many physicians have the training or the eye necessary to do so accurately and consistently.
Futurity features research into lung conditions such as cystic fibrosis at the University of Warwick (UK). Using Xbox Kinect cameras the researchers are able to create accurate 3d-images of the chest area and movement indicating lung health.
The New York Times reports on the future of wearables, stating that a number of companies are expecting an evolution from the smartwatches and fitness trackers of the now to the potential of thinner and lighter devices including those that can be attachthed the skin like tattoos or band-aids. These attachable computers can include sensors and batteries and could have a variety of uses from health and fitness tracking to cosmetics and fashion.