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UCB and IBM to harness big data for personalised epilepsy care

Joint project could pave the way for therapy area use of IBM's Watson

UCB and IBM are collaborating on a project that could eventually see 'cognitive computing' capabilities, such as the IT giant's own supercomputer Watson, used in epilepsy care.

Still in its early stages, the partners are working on using big data and analytics to help healthcare providers deliver more personalised care for epilepsy patients.

They want to do this by producing the healthcare industry's most comprehensive body of information on epilepsy, combining both patient data and scientific literature.

An interactive system will then be created to translate this big data into predictive analytics that healthcare professionals can consult, at the point of care, to inform their treatment decisions.

The system would determine the probability that specific approaches to care will be successful.

Robert Merkel, global healthcare and life sciences industry leader, IBM Global Business Services: “Technologies, like analytics and cognitive computing applied to big data, are revolutionising the way we deliver and receive care.

“IBM is dedicating innovation and expertise to help UCB prove the predictive value of this technology that would arm physicians with information that will help them identify the best possible treatment options and improve quality of care for patients suffering from epilepsy.”

The approach is also one UCB and IBM say will help lay the foundation for using cognitive computing, natural language processing, and machine learning capabilities to raise the standard of care in epilepsy.

UCB's chief medical officer Dr Iris Löw-Friedrich said: “UCB focuses on the creation of innovative networks because we recognise that delivering best-in-class solutions to patients requires collaboration with a diverse group of internal and external experts.

“We have partnered with IBM to explore this concept of streamlining large amounts of data into actionable approaches to epilepsy care.”

If the project, which has just completed its initial phase, is a success it could open up a huge market for IBM and Watson – which is already being tested as a clinical decision support system by two US medical practices.

17th May 2013

From: Research, Healthcare

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