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    Cognitive computing shakes up healthcare: What execs need to know

     

    The market for collaboration

    One of the most important aspects of cognitive computing is multiple stakeholders working together to solve some of healthcare’s biggest problems. Health systems, universities, and technology companies large and small are combining their areas of expertise to give a thorough look at complex health issues, and help patients better understand solutions.

    “We rely on collaborations to help patients interact with cognitive systems. We support other organizations with cognitive capabilities. We use our capabilities and ecosystems and others can build on top of that platform for patients,” Jain says.

    For example, Microsoft’s Healthcare NExT initiative partnered with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center to improve healthcare delivery through a series of projects.

    IBM Watson has leveraged multiple collaborations, including Sugar.IQ by Medtronic.

    IBM Watson technology works with the continuous glucose monitoring application to find patterns in users’ behavior that may lead to spikes or changes in glucose levels.

    Also, IBM Watson Genomics from Quest Diagnostics, creates an end-to-end solution for profiling tumors to identify potential targeted therapies and clinical trials. The service, launched in October 2016, involves laboratory sequencing and analysis of a tumor’s genomic makeup to help reveal mutations that can be associated with targeted therapies and clinical trials.

    Watson then compares those mutations against relevant medical literature, clinical studies, pharmacopeia, and annotated rules created by leading oncologists, including those from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New Jersey. Watson for Genomics ingests approximately 10,000 scientific articles and 100 new clinical trials every month.

    WohlgemuthWohlgemuth

    Since Quest Diagnostics already serves half of physicians and hospitals in the U.S., partnering with IBM allowed the company to leverage their insights to make the most impact, says Jay G. Wohlgemuth, MD, senior vice president of medical research and development and chief medical officer of Quest Diagnostics.

    “Working together, we have the potential to deliver actionable information to clinicians in a community setting who may not otherwise have access to these insights,” Wohlgemuth says.  

    Quest and IBM worked with Memorial Sloan Kettering to increase the precision oncology knowledge involved with the genomic platform. “It isn't enough to have information—the data has to be insightful and actionable,” Wohlgemuth says. “It has to be clinically appropriate, and it has to be provided in a timely manner, in the place where it can inform decisions. Quest's relationship with IBM Watson is about taking data and, to put it simply, making it useful. That's how healthcare quality and efficiency improves.”

    As AI becomes more commonplace, Jain says health organizations can bring their area of specialty to work with technology specialists to get better a understanding of health problems. “Healthcare organizations looking to utilize cognitive computing need to be willing to collaborate. The results will be more gratifying,” Jain says

    Next: The future

     

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