IBM's Watson Health division will incorporate patient data from Apple

Health care data stored on Watson Health Cloud will be de-identified, said IBM

IBM's Watson supercomputer can be used in many verticals, but healthcare arguably gets the most attention. So much medical data, from patient history to physician notes to medical journals, remains unstructured, making it difficult for machines to interpret it. Watson's capabilities, recently dubbed cognitive computing, can parse data, combine it with treatment guidelines and the latest medical studies, to suggest and score potential diagnoses — or even, some hypothesize, to cure cancer.

In addition, IBM's Smarter Healthcare initiative (part of its Smarter Cities project, itself part of the Smarter Planet) seeks ways to incorporate that insight into collaborative, patient-centered care processes as a means of emphasizing wellness and prevention, not sickness.

IBM's Watson supercomputer can be used in many verticals, but healthcare arguably gets the most attention. So much medical data, from patient history to physician notes to medical journals, remains unstructured, making it difficult for machines to interpret it. Watson's capabilities, recently dubbed cognitive computing, can parse data, combine it with treatment guidelines ...

The health information your Apple Watch collects could eventually end up in IBM's Watson cloud computing platform, where medical researchers and doctors can tap it in the course of their work.

On Monday, IBM launched the Watson Health business unit, which will focus on providing the health care community with the analysis tools required to make sense of the many forms of data used in clinical care.

When developing a treatment plan for a patient, doctors must factor in clinical trials information, medical journal articles and, increasingly, data gathered from wearables and medical devices, said Steve Gold, vice president of the Watson Group. The Watson Health Cloud aims to combine these data streams and help physicians make better-informed care decisions, he said.

"Health care data is very unstructured. There's exponentially more data available in text," said Gold.

The business unit will work with Apple, Johnson & Johnson and Medtronic on using Watson Health Cloud to analyze data provided by patients.

For clinicians who build apps with ResearchKit, Apple's recently announced framework for creating mobile apps for medical research, IBM will provide a cloud computing platform to store and analyze this data. The information will be de-identified and people must opt-in to contribute their data, IBM said.

Johnson & Johnson, which manufactures medical devices, surgical robots and pharmaceuticals, will work with IBM to develop mobile apps to help people better recover from joint replacement and spinal surgery and manage chronic ailments like diabetes. Johnson & Johnson will store the data on Watson and use the platform's cognitive abilities to answer patient questions.

Medtronic makes insulin pumps, glucose monitors and other devices for managing diabetes. Watson Health Cloud will receive information from these devices as well as from patients and analyze it to help doctors come up with more personalized treatments.

To beef up Watson's analytics capabilities, IBM acquired two companies that use big data to develop individualized care plans. One them, Explorys, has a cloud platform that incorporates clinical and financial information from various hospitals and individual care providers to identify treatment patterns and outcomes. The other, Phytel, sells cloud services to help care providers better collaborate and coordinate patient care.

Fred O'Connor writes about IT careers and health IT for The IDG News Service. Follow Fred on Twitter at @fredjoconnor. Fred's e-mail address is fred_o'connor@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags cloud computinginternetAppleIBMindustry verticalshealth care

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Fred O'Connor

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?