IBM Watson progresses on cognitive apps

|November 14, 2014 0
A genomics major joins in for an app for personalized options to help the user and their physician make informed decisions

NEW YORK, USA: Cognitive apps are in market today and continue to change the way professionals and consumers make decisions. To help accelerate this transformation, the IBM Watson Group has announced an investment in Pathway Genomics Corporation, a clinical laboratory that offers genetic testing services globally, to help deliver the first-ever cognitive consumer-facing app based on genetics from a user’s personal makeup; it stated.

This brings Pathway Genomics’ funding in the last six years to more than $80 million, making it one of the industry’s best capitalized start-up healthcare companies, as highlighted in the announcement.

According to Allied Market Research, the bioinformatics market, which includes genetics, is expected to grow to $12.86 billion by 2020.

Pathway Genomics is aiming to revolutionize the health and wellness industry by leveraging the natural language processing and cognitive capabilities of Watson, as explained. For the first time consumers will be able to ask the Pathway Panorama app questions to gain insights and options powered by the cognitive intellect of Watson, based on their own wellness-related genes, wearable data, and other related wellness information, like emotional, physical and social well being, the company added.

The new mobile app, Pathway Panorama, will be designed to call upon Watson’s unique ability to uncover insights from Big Data by understanding the complexities of human language, referencing millions of pages of healthcare data from medical journals and clinic trial data within seconds.

The data will be combined with information about the individual’s lifestyle and wellness-related biomarker data to provide personalized options to help the user and their physician make informed decisions about living a healthier life. Panorama will also routinely monitor a user’s health and wellness information, and ping the user with any new relevant recommendations.

For example, a consumer will be able to ask the Pathway Panorama app questions based on their DNA, like “How much exercise should I do today?” to “How much coffee can I drink on Monday?” The cognitive app answers and provides options based on the millions of healthcare-related evidence-based data, provided by Pathway Genomics, ingested by Watson and on the individual’s biomarker, vital signs (wearables), DNA, electronic health records, and other information, the announcement further elaborated.

“The medical industry is undergoing a dramatic and systemic change, giving consumers and their physicians a powerful tool built upon cognitive learning and Watson will make the change even more transformative,” said Michael Nova, M.D., Chief Medical Officer, Pathway Genomics; and Member of Watson Advisory Board.

“By tapping into IBM Watson’s cognitive computing capabilities, Pathway Genomics is allowing consumers to ask health related questions, in their own words and receive personalized and relevant responses,” said Stephen Gold, Vice President, IBM Watson Group.

In January, the Watson Group announced to advance new cognitive computing capabilities. IBM is investing $100 million to spur innovation for entrepreneurial organizations – ranging from start-ups and VC-backed companies to established players – who, like Pathway Genomics, are collectively bringing forward a new generation of apps and solutions infused with Watson’s cognitive computing capabilities.

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