IBM‘s (NYSE:IBM) Watson health group said today that inked a deal to supply 21 hospitals in China with its Watson for Oncology platform designed to assist in providing personalized, evidence-based cancer treatment options.
The company said it is partnering with Hangzhou CognitiveCare to introduce more hospitals across China, and touted the partnership as Watson Health’s 1st in China.
“Hangzhou CognitiveCare is eager to bring IBM’s Watson for Oncology to reach every oncologist in China we possibly can. Watson has the power to transform how doctors battle cancer in China and around the world, providing physicians with insights regarding treatment options that help them customize therapeutic recommendations specific to each individual, based on a patient’s specific needs,” Hangzhou CognitiveCare CEO Zhen Tu said in a press release.
Cognitive computing company Hangzhou CognitiveCare will provide sales, service and customer support for doctors in China, including localization. The platform will be available initially in English, with CognitiveCare providing translations for drug labels and treatment guidelines, and will localize dosing based on Chinese medical guidelines, the company said.
“IBM is committed to working with CognitiveCare as the first mover in China to bring Watson Health technologies into this market. Health leaders in Asia-Pacific are leading the way globally in advancing cancer care. The 21 hospitals in China that will adopt the Watson for Oncology offering join world-class facilities that are offering the power of Watson to their physicians and the adoption of Watson in China is indicative of the momentum we are seeing among health professionals worldwide for IBM’s unique cognitive computing platform,” IBM Watson GM Deborah DiSanzo said in a prepared statement.
“Healthcare in China is transforming at a rapid pace but the world’s most populous country faces numerous challenges as it struggles to cope with a precipitous rise in cancer and other diseases. Optimum care for cancer patients often requires a customized, evidence-based approach to treatment due to the unique characteristics of the disease. 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,” Frost & Sullivan Nancy Fabozzi said in prepared remarks.
In June, Watson said its platform will be put to use to help match cancer patients with clinical trials.
The Armonk, N.Y.-based technology giant said Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin Network will adopt the Watson technology for this purpose in a project set to begin this fall. Froedtert/MCW Cancer Network are among the 1st cancer programs nationally to use the technology, according to IBM.
Doctors typically try to match patients to genetically ideal clinical trials that are also the most relevant in the development spectrum. This can be a long process on multiple levels, involving reviews by clinical coordinators who manually sort through patient records and conditions. Watson could hasten the process by analyzing a greater amount of information in less time, including patients’ unique genetic details.