A new five-year partnership between Duke Health and Microsoft will work to “redefine the health care landscape” through collaborative work on generative artificial intelligence and cloud technology, according to a Tuesday announcement.
Microsoft will help establish a Duke AI Innovation Lab to explore new AI technologies and solutions and a Center of Excellence, which will work to refine and scale the AI applications “across diverse clinical and research domains.”
"Duke Health's commitment to delivering the next generation of medicine is unwavering," said Craig Albanese, chief executive officer of Duke Health. "Through this collaboration, we aim to bring the future of health care into the present, crafting a new normal that is not merely innovative but transformative."
Generative AI technology is AI that can create new content and not simply operate using pre-existing data. The most well-known example is ChatGPT, the AI chatbot that has recently exploded in popularity. Microsoft has been rapidly expanding its presence in the AI sector, having announced an additional $10 billion investment in ChatGPT owner OpenAI earlier this year.
The partnership will focus on four critical areas: modernized infrastructure, innovation, transformation and emerging technology. Duke Health plans to utilize Microsoft’s Azure Cloud and Cloud for Healthcare, while also taking advantage of other digital tools and “early access to new technologies” provided by Microsoft.
According to an email from Duke Health leadership obtained by The Chronicle, the partnership will aim to “empower evolution toward a data-centric, digital-first academic healthcare system.”
The email further reads that generative AI technology will be used “to redefine the healthcare experiences for providers and patients alike.” Microsoft’s support in upgrading Duke Health’s cloud infrastructure would also “assist in diagnosis and treatment decisions through advanced data analysis, create personalized patient education, and reduce administrative tasks via automation.”
Microsoft will also provide Duke with training to “foster a cloud-savvy IT workforce and construct a secure cloud environment to simplify and modernize IT operations.”
“Microsoft is excited to collaborate with Duke Health to operationalize responsible AI principles, helping to ensure that AI is deployed safely, effectively, and in an unbiased and transparent manner,” said David Rhew, global chief medical officer and vice president of healthcare at Microsoft. “Together we will apply the latest Microsoft technologies to expedite and scale Duke Health’s nationally recognized model of AI governance. By sharing best practices and lessons learned, we hope other organizations will benefit from our experience.”
Further details about the partnership are still in progress and will be communicated once finalized, according to the email.
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Jazper Lu is a Trinity junior and managing editor of The Chronicle's 119th volume.