At the Microsoft Summit in Athens, the Microsoft Innovation Center – Greece and its partners from the i-PROGNOSIS project presented how the latest innovations in artificial intelligence and data processing can help medical teams detect early signs of Parkinson’s and empower people who are living with the disease. Over 1800 people from more than 1000 companies attended the summit, many of whom visited the i-PROGNOSIS booth.

While there are already 1.2 million people living with Parkinson’s in Europe, experts anticipate this number to double in the next 10 to 20 years. It is crucial, as there is still no cure, that medical, social and economic stakeholders work hand-in-hand to address this pandemic: this starts with an accurate and early diagnosis.

Convinced of the potential of digital technologies to address social purposes, the Microsoft Innovation Center of Greece got involved in i-PROGNOSIS. The center contributes to the project with its Microsoft Azure cloud computing platform, one of the most compliant platforms with European regulations for data exchange and storage, while application users remain the owners and controllers of their data.

Starting from the technological importance of the cloud, the Microsoft Summit shifted Greece’s national technology agenda from cloud to discussing artificial intelligence for growth.

Using machine learning algorithms that are a subset of artificial intelligence, the iPrognosis app aims to collect anonymized data (such as voice characteristics or typing patterns) from the daily use of smartphones to detect early signs indicative of Parkinson’s disease. By comparing data from diagnosed Parkinson’s patients and healthy volunteers, the machine learning algorithm is being trained to identify and alert physicians of behavioural changes.

The Microsoft Summit got amazing qualitative feedback, as a tech journalist summed it up “I have attended many tech conferences in Greece, you finally landed what AI really is with tangible examples.”