IBM allies with Illumina on precision medicine

Dive Brief:

  • IBM Watson Health is partnering with Illumina to expand access to precision oncology treatments, the tech giant said Monday.
  • The collaboration will integrate the Watson for Genomics cognitive computing platform with Illumina’s BaseSpace tumor sequencing process to simplify interpretation of genomic data.
  • By combining the two technologies, researchers using Illumina’s cancer genome sequencing panel can quickly interpret the vast array of data on variant cancer genes.

Dive Insight:

Using Watson for Genomics, researchers will be able to quickly sift through medical literature, clinical trials and other genomic variations. The collaboration points to where companies may be taking their technology as precision medicine efforts ramp up. As care delivery attempts to become more personal, the ability to pinpoint mutations that cause cancerous growths for individuals and match that with potential treatment options could be advantageous.

In addition, IBM announced in June that its Watson technology would be analyzing genomic data of 10,000 cancer patients, under a partnership with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The collaboration, a byproduct of Vice President Joe Biden’s Cancer Moonshot initiative, aims to expand access to the VA’s precision oncology program.

IBM plans to begin offering the Watson Genomics software for Illumina’s tumor-sequencing panel in early 2017.

Filed Under: Health IT