Apollo Hospitals adopts IBM Watson for oncology and genomics

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Bengaluru, May 22 (IANS) Apollo Hospitals on Tuesday joined hands with IBM to deploy its cognitive computing platform Watson for oncology and genomics in ten of its cancer care centres.

Watson will help oncologists surface relevant data to bridge disparate sources of information and identify treatments that are personalised to each unique patient.

“Each person’s cancer journey is unique and hence each patient’s treatment plan must be unique too. IBM Watson for oncology and genomics will help the clinicians and oncologists at Apollo Hospitals augment their own expertise to deliver an unparalleled and personalised patient care across our hospitals,” Preetha Reddy, Joint Managing Director, Apollo Hospitals Group, said in a statement.

As part of the partnership, the software major’s computing solution will be deployed across ten of Apollo Hospitals in Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Bhubaneshwar, and Madurai.

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“This collaboration with Apollo Hospitals reflects IBM’s ongoing commitment to partner with leading healthcare providers across the world to leverage the power of artificial intelligence to support cancer care,” added Lisa Rometty, General Manager of Oncology (Genomics and Life Sciences) IBM Watson Health.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), there are an estimated 9.49 lakh new cancer cases in India annually, accounting for more than 6.34 lakh deaths related to cancer each year.

Currently, approximately 50,000 oncology research papers are published annually, and by 2020 medical information is projected to double every 73 days, outpacing the ability of humans to keep up with the proliferation of medical knowledge, the report said.

IBM Watson for Oncology complements the work of oncologists, supporting them in clinical decision-making by enabling them to access evidence-based, personalised treatment options from more than 300 medical journals, more than 200 textbooks, and nearly 15 million pages of text providing insight and comprehensive details on different treatment options, including key information on drug treatment selections.

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On the other hand, Watson for genomics helps to analyse massive bodies of genomic, clinical and pharmacological knowledge to help uncover potential therapeutic options to target genetic alterations in a patient’s tumour.

Using this genomic analysis, Watson produces a report for physicians, which identifies genetic alterations that are actionable based on literature as well as drugs and clinical trials that target those alterations.

–IANS

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