IBM Watson Health today announced a number of new partnership deals, including an expanded collaborative deal with the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and 10-year, $50 million collaborative research deals with the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
The Cambridge, Mass.-based IBM division said that it inked an extended partnership with the Broad Institute looking to analyze and explore genomics data to better understand the intrinsic possibility individuals have for a certain disease.
The newly inked initiative aims to incorporate population-based and hospital-based biobank data, genomic information and electronic health records to improve and expand genetic risk scoring. The project plans to make its insights and tools widely available to the research community, including methods for calculating an individual’s risk of developing common diseases based on variants in the genome, IBM Watson said.
“We’re excited to build upon the advances we’ve made in polygenic risk scoring utilizing vast amount of genomic data. By coupling clinical data with genomic data, there is an exceptional opportunity to make polygenic risk scoring more robust and powerful, and ultimately transformative for patient care. Such transformation could never happen without these kinds of partnerships,” Broad Institute cardiovascular disease initiative director Sekar Kathiresan said in a prepared statement.
The deal expands upon a five-year deal both groups inked in 2016. The new project will be initially undertaken for three years, IBM Watson said.
“We’re working directly with the physician-scientists at the Broad Institute to evolve how AI can help unlock undiscovered clues about human health. We’ve built a deep expertise in applying AI to understand the complexities and meaning of immense amounts of data, such as genomics and health records. Our latest collaboration will combine these capabilities with clinical insights, and refine how technology can provide explainable and valuable insights to clinicians as they study and treat serious conditions such as cardiovascular disease,” IBM Watson Health senior VP John Kelly said in a press release.
In a seperate release also posted today, IBM Watson Health announced 10-year, $50 million research collaboration deals with the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Vanderbilt University Medical Center looking to “advance the science of [AI] and its application to major public health issues.”
Deals with each institution will focus on critical health problems that would be idealy suited for AI solutions, including the use of AI to improve EHR utility and claims data, improving patient safety, precision medicine and health equity, IBM Watson said. The parnterhsips will also explore physician and patient user experience interactions with AI.
“Building on the MIT-IBM Watson Lab announced last year, this collaboration will include contributions from IBM Watson Health’s longstanding commitment to scientific research and our belief that working together with the world’s leading institutions is the fastest path to develop, advance, and understand practical solutions that solve some of the world’s biggest health challenges. Today, for example, physicians are spending an average of two hours with their electronic health records and deskwork for every hour of patient care, a phenomenon the American Medical Association says is leading to a steady increase in physician burnout. AI is the most powerful technology we have today to tackle issues like this one, but there is still a great deal of work to be done to demystify the real role of AI in healthcare with practical, proven results and clear-cut best practices. By putting the full force of our clinical and research team together with two of the world’s leading academic medical centers, we will dramatically accelerate the development of real-world AI solutions that improve workflow efficiencies and outcomes,” IBM Watson Health chief health officer Dr. Kyu Rhee said in a prepared release.
“IBM Watson Health has had a long history of leading in scientific research. These collaborations give our scientists at IBM Watson Health the opportunity to work with some of the best health informatics researchers in the world to advance the field in the areas of artificial intelligence, clinical decision support, and implementation science. Medical data is expected to double every 73 days by 2020. As a practicing surgeon, I often had to make critical decisions about children’s lives without time to dig for information buried in electronic health records or sift through thousands of studies in the literature. Our collaborative research will unlock new insights that affect broad health stakeholders: from providers, payers, governments, and life science companies to ultimately the most important stakeholder, patients, and seek to improve health around the globe. I have committed my career to using health information technologies to deliver precision medicine, promote health equity, and understand the human-machine interface and opportunities to improve public health. As the largest biomedical informatics department in the U.S., we have been a longstanding leader in understanding the role and potential of new technologies like AI. We are excited to work with a leader like IBM Watson Health and we look forward to expanding the relationship as Watson Health continues to grow,” IBM Watson Health chief science officer Gretchen Jackson said in prepared remarks.