IBM Watson partnerships aim to improve personalized healthcare

IBM Watson Health is looking to make its mark on personalized healthcare with two newly unveiled initiatives.

The technology company is partnering with electronic health record vendor Epic and Rochester, Minnesota-based Mayo Clinic to apply cognitive computing capabilities to EHRs, according to an announcement Tuesday.

Epic will also use Watson to embed cognitive computing services into its decision support offerings using open standards such as Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources and application programming interfaces.

In addition, IBM announced that it plans to collaborate with 14 cancer institutes across the country to create more personalized treatments for patients. This isn't a totally new endeavor for IBM; it previously worked with Memorial Sloan-Kettering and the New York Genome Center on personalized cancer treatment projects. 

Healthcare systems that signed on to help IBM with its newest project include Cleveland Clinic, Duke Cancer Institute, New York Genome Center, Sanford Health, Yale Cancer Center and nine others.

The facilities will use Watson to quickly translate DNA insights and understand a patient's genetic profile.

"This collaboration is about giving clinicians the ability to do for a broader population what is currently only available to a small number--identify personalized, precision cancer treatments," Steve Harvey, vice president of IBM Watson Health, said in the announcement.

In addition to these new programs, IBM also has a partnership with Apple to bring cloud services and analytics to HealthKit and ResearchKit. IBM also has its hands in the mHealth realm with the recent development of four apps to assist nurses; another initiative through its partnership with Apple.

To learn more:
- here's IBM's announcement on the partnership with Mayo and Epic
- read the other announcement

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