- IBM and the American Cancer Society announced on Tuesday plans to join forces and create a virtual cancer advisor, which will be integrated into the existing IBM Watson for Oncology - a clinical decision support tool.
- The companies believe the integrated advisor will motivate clinicians to share personalized guidance via resources like education materials and social services.
- According to IBM, more than 1.6 million Americans are diagnosed with cancer annually.
Sources of data from both ACS and IBM will be aggregated in order to create the virtual cancer advisor and Watson will then be trained to use them in a way that enables it to predict the individual needs of people with "different types of cancers, at different stages of disease, and at various points in treatment," according to the release.
It will use ACS's information on more than 70 cancer topics, healthy lifestyles, risk reduction, early detection, self-management, support groups, health and wellness activities, and cancer education.
The companies believe the advisor will "become increasingly personalized as individuals engage with it." Ultimately, they hope to also integrate voice recognition and natural language processing technology so a patient can ask questions and also receive audible responses.
IBM's Watson Health Cloud has been partnering with a variety of companies and institutions to increase specialization levels in its cognitive computing system, Healthcare Dive previously reported.