Leanne LeBlanc, IBM Watson project manager, views analytics of healthcare data at Watson headquarters in New York City, on Monday, April 13, 2015.
To advance the quality and effectiveness of personal healthcare, IBM (NYSE: IBM) is establishing a Watson Health Cloud that will provide a secure and open platform for physicians, researchers, insurers and companies focused on health and wellness solutions.
According to IBM, the HIPAA-enabled Watson Health Cloud will enable secure access to individualized insights and a more complete picture of the many factors that can affect people’s health.
Extending the company’s exclusive Watson cognitive computing platform, IBM is:
Entering new partnerships with leading companies including Apple, Johnson & Johnson and Medtronic to help optimize consumer and medical devices for data collection, analysis and feedback.
Acquiring Explorys and Phytel to advance its healthcare analytics capabilities.
Establishing a dedicated business unit – IBM Watson Health, to be headquartered in the Boston, MA, area.
IBM believes that the future of health is all about the individual. With the increasing prevalence of personal fitness trackers, connected medical devices, implantables and other sensors that collect real-time information, the average person is likely to generate more than one million gigabytes of health-related data in their lifetime (the equivalent of more than 300 million books).
However, it is difficult to connect these dynamic and constantly growing pools of information with more traditional sources such as doctor-created medical records, clinical research and individual genomes – data sets that are fragmented and not easily shared.
A highly scalable and secure global information platform is essential to pull out individualized insights to help people and providers make timely, evidence-based decisions about health-related issues, IBM suggests.