Answer ALS creates largest ALS research study in history with Microsoft’s cloud services


By Microsoft Accessibility

Joel Shamanski and his wife Ann, stand next to each other, outside, at the Answer ALS Walk in Rochester New York. They are both wearing Answer ALS shirts.

In September 2018, Joel Shamanski and his wife, Ann, participated in an Answer ALS walk in Rochester, N.Y.

Joel Shamaskin is one of nearly 1,000 people living with ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) participating in a massive project that may offer more hope than ever before of finding a cure for the disease.

“The main way I felt I was going to cope was to be as proactive as I could in looking for potential new treatments and research trials,” he says. “Knowing that this is going to help others is as much of a motivator as anything.”

We believe that advancements in technology, including cloud computing, AI and machine learning, can help empower researchers to better understand ALS and find treatments. That is why Microsoft is providing $1 million in cloud-computing resources to Answer ALS, working together to build the most comprehensive collection of data on people living with ALS and make it available to researchers around the globe.

Answer ALS’ research effort is “the single largest and most comprehensive ALS research study in history,” says Clare Durrett, Answer ALS Foundation co-director and managing coordinator. “With a goal of 1,000 patient participants, the amount of data collected per participant is over 6 billion data points per person.”

Answer ALS and Microsoft are working closely with scientists and researchers from Johns Hopkins University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology to make the data available to researchers when it is ready in a few years.

To learn more about the project, visit the Microsoft News Center.


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