IBM Watson cognitive system in pact with NYGC to accelerate genomic medicine

Enterprise IT vendor IBM today said the New York Genome Center (NYGC) will use IBM Watson cognitive system to accelerate genomic medicine.

As part of the announcement, IBM and NYGC will test a Watson prototype designed for genomic research as a tool to help oncologists deliver more personalized care to cancer patients.

NYGC and its medical partner institutions plan to evaluate Watson’s ability to help oncologists develop more personalized care to patients with glioblastoma, an aggressive and malignant brain cancer that kills more than 13,000 people in the U.S. each year.

This joint NYGC Watson initiative aims to speed up complex process, identifying patterns in genome sequencing and medical data to unlock insights that will help clinicians bring the promise of genomic medicine to their patients.

IBM Watson cognitive system in pact with NYGC

The combination of NYGC’s genomic and clinical expertise coupled with the power of IBM’s Watson system will enable further development and refinement of the Watson tool with the shared goal of helping medical professionals develop personalized cancer care.

The cloud-based Watson system will be designed to analyze genetic data along with comprehensive biomedical literature and drug databases. Watson can continually learn as it encounters new patient scenarios, and as more information becomes available through new medical research, journal articles and clinical studies.

Watson will complement rapid genome sequencing and is expected to reduce the time it takes to correlate an individual’s genetic mutations with reams of medical literature, study findings, and therapeutic indications that may be relevant.

“As genomic research progresses and information becomes more available, we aim to make the process of analysis much more practical and accessible through cloud-based, cognitive innovations like Watson,” said John E. Kelly III, senior vice president and director of IBM Research.

The goal is to have the Watson genomics prototype assist clinicians in providing personalized genomic analytics information as part of a NYGC clinical research study.

The solution has been under development for the past decade in IBM’s Computational Biology Center at IBM Research.

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