IBM to recruit its Watson supercomputer in the fight against cancer

IBM’s Watson business unit and the New York Genome Center will test a cognitive computing prototype aimed at allowing oncologists to better tailor cancer care. The collaboration, one of many IBM is planning to widen cognitive computing’s footprint, will be the first Watson implementation for genomic research. Ultimately, IBM wants to use the Watson prototype for a clinical study by the New York Genome Center. 

IBM is using the powers of its Watson supercomputer service to help solve the mysteries of brain cancer by examining individual genetic mutations. “When you do whole gene sequencing, you get a very complete picture of the mutations in a specific patient. It is critical to be able to translate that information into something an oncologist can understand and take actions around,” said Raminderpal Singh, IBM Research business development executive for genomic medicine. In a research study, IBM Watson will help New York Genome Center doctors by searching for their patients’ mutations that may be referenced in genomic databases and in medical literature. It then can present any findings of interest to the patient’s physician.


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