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Microsoft Industry Blogs - Canada

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Born in the Microsoft Cloud in 2016, My Intelligent Machines (MIMs) is a Canadian software startup on the most impressive mission imaginable: speeding up the fight against breast cancer, heart disease, and leukemia. How? By radically accelerating post-genomic research using artificial intelligence and bioinformatics.

Personalized medicine

You may not know the term, but personalized (or precision) medicine promises to make all of our lives better. With the power to analyze an individual’s genetic code, health care providers have unlocked the ability to deliver improved preventative care as well as more effective treatments for various diseases. They can now identify more at-risk people and treat them before they get sick.

Bottle-necked demand

Unfortunately, the slow and expensive process of commissioning genomic research has impeded its availability. A genomic study requires the manual work of highly trained, third-party technical specialists known as bioinformaticians. Conducting each study takes upward of four weeks and costs approximately US $2400.

“Despite its truly transformative potential, only a fraction of life scientists currently use omic data in their research. Traditional bioinformatic service delivery is slow, expensive, and inconsistently represented. MIMsOmic changes all that by democratizing genomic research.”

Sarah Jenna, Ph.D., MIMs Co-Founder & CEO

Enter My Intelligent Machines

MIMs addresses these time and cost concerns head-on. The startup, which brings together a dream team of technical and scientific talent, was co-founded by:

  • Bioinformatics expert Abdoulaye Baniré Diallo, PhD, CSO
  • Genomics expert Sarah Jenna, PhD, CEO
  • Artificial intelligence expert Mickaël Camus, COO/CTO

Headshots of MiMs technical and scientific talent for Bioinformatics, Genomics, Artificial Intelligence

Democratizing genomic research

MIMs strives to empower and inspire life scientists by giving them access to powerful genomic tools and technologies—including its new MIMsOmic platform. Using an AI bioinformatician, MIMsOmic allows users to find, analyze, and interpret massive datasets—without any training in bioinformatics and computer programming required.

“The MIMsOmic intelligent platform democratizes genomic, proteomic, and metabolomic research by helping scientists get reliable results, quickly, and cost-effectively. We’re talking half the cost—and in just two days, not 30.”

Sarah Jenna, Ph.D., MIMs Co-Founder & CEO

A platform to watch for

The MIMsOmic platform harnesses ground-breaking hybrid neural network and autonomous system technologies. These are accessed securely and reliably through Microsoft datacentres, where MIMs can ensure its clients a world-class level of security and privacy. MIMsOmic is currently in alpha stages, with a beta release scheduled later in 2017 and plans for a global launch in 2018.

“Designed and developed for any life scientist, the MIMsOmic platform has a very intuitive interface. You can upload your data, chat with the AI system to get assistance with your questions, and then run the analysis. The next morning, you get your dashboards, which you can discuss with the AI.”

Sarah Jenna, Ph.D., MIMs Co-Founder & CEO

The Azure connection

MIMs currently leverages several Azure services to deliver a secure, reliable, and efficient user experience. Some of these services include Storage, Web Apps, Container Service (using Swarm and Kubernetes), Application Gateway and Availability Set.

 “Azure allows us to deploy, execute and control many virtual containers, in a secure way, in real time. We used this platform to develop an intelligent system that understands, semantically, the meaning of the questions from life scientists. They can chat with the system and then deploy multiple processes to answer specific demands, all in a transparent way.”

Mickaël Camus, Ph.D., MIMs Co-Founder & CTO

A brilliant future

The MIMs technology team has begun to explore and integrate with Azure cognitive tool kits, specifically the Custom Speech Service and the Academic Knowledge API. The team believes that these technologies may hold the key to improving communication and facilitating the exchange of ideas amongst users and the AI.

 “Azure allows us to store and share precious genomic data collected by different labs all around the world in one spot, in one place—securely. It allows us to share massive amounts of omic data, run the same carefully vetted bioinformatic algorithms, and deliver standardized analysis.”

Sarah Jenna, Ph.D., MIMs Co-Founder & CEO

A Microsoft for Startups project

MIMs received support from Microsoft’s global startup support program Microsoft for Startups, which provides promising startups with software, service, support, marketing expertise and cloud services—all designed to help them launch successfully. Check out these cool stories of other entrepreneurs who received assistance from Microsoft.

Do you run a startup?

Learn how Microsoft for Startups works. The Microsoft for Startups program provides qualified privately held startups with Microsoft development and testing software, training, phone support, and Microsoft Azure cloud services. To qualify, your startup must be less than five years old and earn less than US $1 million annually.