Healthcare Technology Featured Article

September 14, 2015

IBM Breathes More Life into Watson Health with New General Manager, Headquarters and Partnerships


Tech giant IBM made several announcements surrounding its Watson Health cognitive computing unit last week, a reflection of the company’s steadily growing investment in this business unit.

Deborah DiSanzo, former CEO of Philips Healthcare, has been appointed as General Manager of the Watson Health unit and will continue the momentum that’s been picking up since its creation last April. The company also established a brand-new global headquarters for IBM Watson Health in Cambridge, Massachusetts, which will serve as a launch pad for future developments as well as a hub for the several new partnerships that were also detailed in the company’s recent media event.

A partnership with the Boston Children’s Hospital will have Watson integrated into the OPENPediatrics program, an initiative aiming to enhance personalized medicine, critical care and heart health with the opportunities offered by integrated big data and analytics. The capabilities of IBM’s supercomputer for processing immense quantities of data will surely enable great forward strides in the hospital’s ability to offer patients the highest-quality care possible. Furthermore, Watson Genomic Analytics will be used by hospital researchers to engage in cutting-edge research on rare pediatric diseases.

Meanwhile, at the Columbia University Medical Center Watson will be implemented at the Columbia Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center to develop better cancer treatment programs. Based on advanced DNA analysis, these care improvements will enable much more personalization for each patient, again resulting in the highest quality of care possible.

IBM Watson Health Cloud for Life Sciences Compliance is a program the company designed to improve clinical and research trials so they can be more effectively managed and yield more useful results. IBM announced partnerships with three healthcare companies—ICON, Sage Bionetworks and Teva Pharmaceuticals—to bring about these sorely needed improvement efforts and further advance the reach of the healthcare community.

IBM has already forged partnership with a number of other healthcare providers and companies, as Watson Health continues to permeate and potentially revolutionize the industry. However, it is still quite young for IBM’s brainchild and it has not yet become apparent what the company’s overarching plan for the technology is, due to the scattered nature of its implementations and the company’s rapid slew of partnerships. Regardless it is apparent that Watson Health’s impressive data-crunching skills will be put to use somewhere, and ideally that will lead to better healthcare for patients all around the world.




Edited by Dominick Sorrentino





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