Upgrading Cancer Care with IBM Watson

IBM announced that Manipal Hospitals and its teaching facilities will adopt a cognitive computing platform i.e. Watson for Oncology. This will be the very first deployment of Watson in India to advance treatment options and provide quality care to cancer patients.

Watson for oncology is a platform which is developed by IBM and trained by Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Centre, one of the world’s leading cancer centre. Till date, the Watson has been updated with 15 million pages of medical content, including more than 200 medical textbooks and 300 medical journals. It will help oncologists to identify advance treatment options and offer individualized care for cancer patients. As it has the ability to read and understand simple language, Watson is capable of exploring treatment options, analyse information provided and promote continuous learning about oncology. These abilities can help oncologists put advanced efforts to improvise cancer care.

Each day, nearly 122 medical papers get published. In fact, this year alone 44000 oncology research papers have been published in medical journals around the world. So it’s difficult to stay updated with all in order to keep up with relevant medical knowledge. Watson can help oncologists to easily review studies, clinical guidelines and perspectives.

According to World Health Organization, nearly 680,000 people succumb to cancer every year, making it the second leading cause of death in the country. In addition, 1 million cancer cases are diagnosed every year. Each year Manipal Hospitals facilities alone provide care to more than 200,000 cancer patients. These were few of the reasons why Manipal Hospitals decided to adopt a cognitive computing platform in order to fight off cancer.

We are at an inflection point in India regarding cancer care, driven by the increasing number of cancer patients in India, fewer oncologists to treat them and the broad geographic footprint of our region. These challenges are amplified by rapid advances in personalized medicine, and an ever-growing amount and diversity of clinical evidence. All these factors compelled us to consider how a technology-based solution could help deliver at scale world class cancer care to our patients,” said Dr Ajay Bakshi, MD & CEO of Manipal Hospitals. “With IBM’s Watson for Oncology, we can combine our clinicians’ expertise across various types of cancers with a cognitive computing solution informed by expert training from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre. We believe the result will be to raise the level of care throughout the region.

Elaborating on the benefits, Dr Bakshi added, “Watson for Oncology will assist Manipal’s physicians in their goal to provide every cancer patient the most advanced, efficacious and cost effective treatment if they are seen by a Manipal oncologist anywhere in the Manipal network.”

This engagement represents a major step in the transformation of healthcare in India.  With IBM Watson we are bringing cognitive computing to the healthcare ecosystem to help deliver greater value to patients in India,” said Vanitha Narayanan, MD, IBM India.

We are honoured Manipal Hospitals chose IBM to support its mission to advance health across India, and to add the esteemed organization to a growing community of hospitals and research institutes around the world, including Bumrungrad International Hospital, using Watson to transform cancer care,” said Deborah DiSanzo, GM, IBM Watson Health.


IBM News Room


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