International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) is teaming up with Chinese hospitals and its AI, Watson to intensify the fight against cancer.
The company will introduce Watson in oncology hospitals across China as part of a partnership with Hangzhou Cognitive Care to work on evident-based and personalized cancer treatments. The project will initially be launched in 21 hospitals where it will be used in oncology to provide speedy diagnosis as well as treatment. IBM’s initiative was encouraged by the fact that there is an oncology research problem in the country which has more than 1.4 billion people.
Watson is expected to help reduce the time that physicians take to provide diagnosis for patients thus improving the country’s ability to render fast healthcare. Medical statistics in China revealed that 2.8 million people died of cancer in 2015 and 4.3 new cancer cases were reported during the same year. Frost & Sullivan’s principal analyst Nancy Fabozzi stated that an evidence-based and customized approach to treatment is the best suited to provide optimum care for cancer patients because the disease has unique characteristics. Fabozzi further added that Watson for Oncology will provide a chance for the project to optimize outcomes for patients.
Watson is ideal for boosting China’s efforts towards increasing quality and efficiency through cognitive computing. Watson will allow doctors to customize treatments through the analysis of huge volumes of medical literature to analyze patients’ records and come up with individualized treatments. It will use a database of more than 200 textbooks, more than 300 medical journals and roughly 15 million pages of content that can be used to provide medical guidelines. The technology is also ideal because IBM Watson features machine learning meaning it will improve as time goes by.
IBM has been establishing partnerships related to health in different areas. One such partnership is the joint initiative with the American Diabetes Association to use cognitive computing in research and clinical data. The company also uses Watson’s genomic analysis to offer personalized cancer treatment in 14 hospitals in the US.