IBM Watson Health (NYSE:IBM) and the US Dept. of Veterans Affairs said today they extended their partnership using artificial intelligence to help interpret oncological data in the treatment of veteran patients.
The partnership, originally signed between the two groups two years ago as part of the National Cancer Moonshot Initiative, will now be extended through to 2019.
“VA is leading the nation to scale and spread the delivery of high-quality precision oncology care, one veteran at a time. It is incredibly challenging to read, understand and stay up-to-date with the breadth and depth of the medical literature, and link them to relevant mutations for personalized cancer treatments. This is where AI can play an important role in helping to scale precision oncology, as demonstrated in our work with VA, the largest integrated health system in the U.S.,” IBM Watson Health chief health officer Dr. Kyu Rhee said in a prepared statement.
Through the partnership, oncologists will use Watson for Genomics as part of the VA’s precision oncology program, which primarily supports stage 4 cancer patients who have exhausted other treatment options.
“Our mission with VA’s precision oncology program is to bring the most advanced treatment opportunities to Veterans, in hopes of giving our nation’s heroes better treatments through these breakthroughs. We look forward to continuing this strategic partnership to assist VA in providing the best care for our Veterans,” acting VA Secretary Peter O’Rourke said in a press release.
In June, a report emerged suggesting IBM Watson Health was cutting back on the portion of its business that sells to hospitals due to a softening market for value-based healthcare offerings.