Your opportunity to help change the world in healthcare: Check out these RFP’s from Microsoft Research



My colleagues at Microsoft Research asked me to spread the word about an announcement they made on Monday during their External Research & Program’s Faculty Summit. Faculty Summit is the premier event hosted by ER&P for academic researchers and professors to meet with Microsoft researchers and product group engineers for in-depth presentations and discussions of computing problems and research trends. The conference brings together approximately 350 academics from 175 leading institutions worldwide.


During the Summit, Microsoft Research outlined the research agenda for the next year by announcing 11 new RFPs. These are research grants open to anyone, two of which focus on healthcare (outlined below).


Cell Phone as a Platform for Healthcare


·         Explore applications and evolution of the cell phone for healthcare services.

·         Incubate, develop, and disseminate to the worldwide academic research community new healthcare services prototypes and mobile technology tools.


Solution Statement: What medical applications are relevant, worldwide, for ‘smart’ mobile phones (application and web-enabled) in rural, and urban, communities?  What are the appropriate services and infrastructures to be created to provide affordable and accessible healthcare services?


Personalized Medicine: Improving Genome-Wide Association Studies

Goal: Genome-Wide Association Studies (GWAS) is an area that would greatly benefit from having computing improvements for researchers.  Focus areas for improvement include:

         Improvement of HapMap (tools for data collection, etc.)

         Standardization of genetic data collection, semantics and DB schema

         Improvement of Algorithms (particularly for in multi-allele disorders) accuracy, performance (e.g., parallelization, HPC)

         Genomic Data Visualization


Solution Statement: Genome-Wide Association Studies (GWAS) are defined by the NIH as any study of genetic variation across the entire human genome that is designed to identify genetic associations with observable traits (such as blood pressure or weight), or the presence or absence of a disease or condition.  GWAS are laying the groundwork for personalized medicine.  What is needed to put this data as quickly as possible into the hands of a broad number of researchers so that they can advance the state of the art in this area.


If you’re interested in any more detail, please contact Kristin Tolle


Here’s your chance to help change the world in healthcare.


Good Luck!


Bill Crounse, MD    Worldwide Health Director         Microsoft Corporation

Comments (7)

  1. Kristin Tolle, PM Biomedical Computing, MSR says:

    Hello to Bill’s readers!  I’m Kristin Tolle, the Program Manager in Microsoft Research managing the two RFPs that Bill describes above.  These RFPs are to further a variety of academic research in these two areas.  I thought I’d post a quick comment to answer some common questions I’ve been receiving.  

    At present we are still working on the request for proposal text for all of the RFPs we are running.  I anticipate that the details for these two will be posted in September at:  The funding is targeted at for academic institutions only.  It is a worldwide RFP (no limitation on researcher location).  

    So please keep an eye on the website above and if you have an interest, by all means apply!

  2. Kristin Tolle, PM Biomedical Computing, MSR says:

    Just a few more answers to a few more questions.

    My alias is ktolle [at] Microsoft [dot] com.  Please contact me directly if you have questions instead of Tami Begasse.  

    The Request for Proposals (RFP) on “Genome Wide Association Studies” opens on December 2nd and close on January 31st.  The announcement of awards will be made in mid March of next year.  

    The RFP for "Cellphone as a Platform for Healthcare" will open on September 15th.  The close date is October 29th.  We’ll be announcing the awards in January.  

    All submissions must come from an accredited academic institution.  

  3. Dear Sir,  I wonder if you would be interested in my project in South Australia.  I am currently studying how people recover from day case anaesthesia.  To this end I have developed a questionnaire to be completed the followoing day regarding their wellbeing and have developed a small device to measure their ability to perform. (This is often referred to as psychomotor testing.) The small device is in fact a Nokia cell  phone which has had a suitable  application  written for it by the local university medical devices department . The basic psychomotor tests coded for currently are:

    reaction time

    choice reaction time

    finger tapping test  – a test of motor skills

    These skills can be performed by the patients before  a day case procedure and then again in the day surgery unit after their procedure. The aim is to ensure that patients will be safe to return home and discover at what level they are able to  function. The test data is stored on the cell phone and downloaded later as a Microsoft Excel spread sheet for analysis.  

    So far the machine works well.

    Two areas need development. I would like to incorporate a test of short term memory. – a digit span test is well understood in the fields of medicine and psychology. Secondly, another test for mental processing called a digit symbol substitution test.  These additional tests would be able to tease out more information about just how  people recover from day surgery procedures.

    Perhaps this use of a cell phone and microsoft software is the sort of project you would be interested to hear about.

    I am currently funding this project entirely with my own money. Any help with developing the two additional tests described above would be greatly appreciated, but I understand if you are unable to offer any assistance.

    Yous sincerely,

    Dr John currie


    South Australia

  4. hlthblog says:

    Dr. Currie,

    Please send your inquiry directly to Kristin Tolle  She is in the best position to advise on possible next steps regarding the RFP.

    Bill Crounse, MD   Worldwide Health Director    Microsoft

  5. Riya Johny says:

    Keep the nice work, the way the matter is presented is really good.RFP is really interesting and it is very necessary.Any way if you are interested in nursing jobs in Detroit have a look on our site

  6. Joe Seidel says:

    I am interested in finding out some of the names of the people who respond to your RFP for Smart Phone health applications. Our compnay, New IOT Healthcare has a remote patient monitoring solution that runs on smart phones. I would be interested in talking to the researchers. I can be reached at my email address


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