IBM and American Cancer Society Want to Create the Ultimate Cancer Advisor

IBM and the American Cancer Society are launching a new partnership that will combine the power of Big Blue’s cognitive computing platform, Watson, with the wealth of cancer research and patient support services provided by the non-profit organization.

The Watson Health initiative was announced Tuesday by CEO Ginni Rometty at the 13th annual World Health Care Congress, a meeting that gathers top executives from health and life sciences companies to discuss the biggest issues affecting the industry. The two organizations will combine forces to create a service that will provide cancer patients, survivors, and caregivers personalized access to vetted cancer resources.

“Watson has read reams of oncology literature, but this phase is now about learning all the cancer advocacy literature and how to support cancer patients, survivors, and caregivers in their journey,” said Kyu Rhee, chief health officer of IBM  IBM 0.37% .

More than 1.6 million Americans are diagnosed with cancer every year, and patients are hungry for accurate, useful information that’s specific to their disease. The American Cancer Society has collated over 14,000 pages of vetted, detailed information across more than 70 cancer topics, as well as risk reduction and early detection information–most of it currently accessible on its website

Watson will “ingest” this information and link it to the Watson Health Cloud, a secure collection of de-identified patient data. It will use all that knowledge as the foundation for the health advisor, which will be able to respond directly and personally to a user. No internet searching necessary.


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