Universal blood test from Microsoft and Adaptive is a Google-sized data challenge - (GeekWire via NewsPoints Desk)

  • A new effort from Microsoft and Adaptive Biotechnologies to diagnose multiple diseases from a single blood test is a data challenge on the scale of Google search, GeekWire reported Wednesday.

  • Adaptive CEO Chad Robins said that "Google categorised the world's information on the internet. What we’re essentially trying to do with Microsoft is to catalogue … what the interaction is between our immune system and all the diseases that they bind to," adding that "after we start building this map out disease by disease, this is actually a web-scale problem."

  • Rather than indexing web pages, the companies are using artificial intelligence to map out signals associated with diseases as well as the cell receptors that bind to them, so they can produce what Robins called an "x-ray for the immune system."

  • The project could eventually give rise to an "immune checkup" in which patients receive regular screening for early diagnosis of infectious disease, cancer and autoimmune disorders, which Robins said could happen in six to eight years.

  • Initially, they’re targeting diseases where early intervention leads to better outcomes, including type 1 diabetes, celiac disease, ovarian cancer, pancreatic cancer and Lyme disease.

  • "Ultimately, if this is part of primary care and you're able to truly do an x-ray or a screen for the immune system, then that hits everyone in the world," he said, adding that the companies could have their first test on the market by 2021.

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