IBM Watson moves into China to improve cancer treatment

IBM Watson

Twenty-two hospitals in China will adopt IBM’s Watson in a multiyear push toward personalized and evidence-based cancer treatment. In its first partnership in China, IBM will work with healthcare services organization Hangzhou CognitiveCare to introduce Watson for Oncology to hospitals across the country.

Hangzhou CognitiveCare will support the Watson rollout in China by localizing Watson for Oncology. For example, because Watson will initially only be available in English, CognitiveCare will offer translation support so that insights, such as drug labels and treatment guidelines, will be available to customers and patients in Chinese, according to a statement.

CognitiveCare was set up to introduce cognitive computing to cancer treatment in China. It will advance the uptake of Watson for Oncology by leveraging its regional network of teleconsultation system service providers, according to the statement. The providers in the network will provide knowledge of the region, medical community and health needs of the population.

FREE DAILY NEWSLETTER

Like this story? Subscribe to FierceBiotech!

Biopharma is a fast-growing world where big ideas come along every day. Our subscribers rely on FierceBiotech as their must-read source for the latest news, analysis and data in the world of biotech and pharma R&D. Sign up today to get biotech news and updates delivered to your inbox and read on the go.

This collaboration come at a time where cancer cases are rising in China, but doctors are having difficulty keeping abreast of new and emerging cancer research. Of a total population of 1.4 billion, 2015 alone saw 4.3 million new cancer cases and 2.8 million cancer deaths.

“Optimum care for cancer patients often requires a customized, evidence-based approach to treatment due to the unique characteristics of the disease,” said Nancy Fabozzi, principal analyst of transformational health at Frost & Sullivan, in the statement. ”Watson for Oncology offers great potential to help enable the best possible patient outcomes and is ideally suited to help advance China's efforts to improve the quality and efficiency of cancer treatment.”

Watson for Oncology will help doctors customize treatments by analyzing “massive volumes” of medical literature to select individualized treatments, quickly summarizing patient records and scoring and ranking literature. It works from a bank of more than 300 medical journals, more than 200 textbooks and close to 15 million pages of text, as well as peer-reviewed studies and clinical guidelines, to offer recommendations about possible treatment options. And its machine learning capacity means that it will only improve over time.

IBM has established a number of partnerships around its Watson computer, notably teaming up with the American Diabetes Association to apply cognitive computing to clinical and research data, and deploying its Watson Genomic Analysis cloud-based service to help 14 U.S. hospitals provide personalized cancer treatment.

Related Articles:
IBM Watson, ADA partner to apply cognitive computing to diabetes clinical and research data
IBM Watson to roll out clinical trial matching at Wisconsin cancer treatment center
IBM Watson Health creates American Cancer Society, global health initiatives
Dozens of hospitals to deploy IBM Watson computer in fight against cancer

Read more on

Suggested Articles

By employing heart rate signals, physical activity and sleep quality, common Fitbit trackers may be able to predict the spread of the flu.

Nanox has raised $26 million to help fuel the development and commercialization of its Star Trek-inspired digital X-ray bed.

Oncology is clearly a major medical and societal issue, but one that sees too much focus from biopharmas at the expense of other killers.