Microsoft has partnered with and invested in US-based Adaptive Biotechnologies to map the human immune system genetics using artificial intelligence (AI) for early detection and diagnosis of multiple diseases, including cancer.

The partnership will see a combination of Microsoft’s research and large-scale machine learning, and cloud computing capabilities with Adaptive’s immune sequencing technologies.

This integration of technologies is expected to aid in the development of individual disease diagnostics and eventually a universal diagnostic test.

The firms intend to translate genetic code of the body’s immune system into simple, easily accessible blood-based diagnostics.

“This universal map of the immune system will enable earlier and more accurate diagnosis of disease.”

Adaptive Biotechnologies president, CEO and co-founder Chad Robins said: “We now have the technology to be able to do what we’ve been talking about for the past decade – develop a universal TCR antigen map that presents an opportunity to help patients at an unprecedented scale.

“Some conditions like cancer or autoimmune disorders can be difficult to diagnose, but this universal map of the immune system will enable earlier and more accurate diagnosis of disease, potentially helping physicians to connect the dots to understand the relationship between disease states and eventually lead to a better understanding of overall human health.”

The alliance is part of Microsoft’s Healthcare NExT initiative that was introduced last year to enhance AI and cloud computing for bolstering healthcare innovation and enabling lifesaving discoveries.

Microsoft AI and Research corporate vice-president Peter Lee said: “We are very excited and inspired by our collaboration with Adaptive Biotechnologies, as it clearly advances our mission to use cloud and AI technologies to transform healthcare and improve the lives of people around the world.”