Deliver Your News to the World

IBM and Cleveland Clinic Use Watson to Advance Genomic Research for Cancer Care Pilot

Project Will Apply Cognitive Computing to Uncover New Patient Treatment Options

Cleveland, OH – WEBWIRE

IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced a new initiative to accelerate the adoption of genomic based medicine at Cleveland Clinic. Researchers at Cleveland Clinic will use IBM Watson technology in the area of genomic research to help oncologists deliver personalized medicine by uncovering new cancer treatment options for patients. The Lerner Research Institute’s Genomic Medicine Institute at Cleveland Clinic plans to evaluate Watson’s ability to help oncologists develop more personalized care to patients for a variety of cancers. Clinicians lack the tools and time required to bring DNA-based treatment options to their patients and to do so, they must correlate data from genome sequencing to reams of medical journals, new studies and clinical records. At a time when medical information is doubling every five years, a faster option is needed.

This use of Watson aims to find the “needle in the haystack” through identifying patterns in genome sequencing and medical data to unlock insights that will help clinicians bring the promise of genomic medicine to their patients.  The combination of Cleveland Clinic’s clinical expertise coupled with the power of IBM’s Watson system will enable improvements to, and learnings within, the Watson tool with the shared goal of helping medical professionals develop personalized cancer care.

“The potential for leveraging the capabilities of Watson’s cognitive computing engine in personalized medicine could not be timelier,” says Charis Eng, M.D., Ph.D., Chair and founding Director of the Lerner Research Institute’s Genomic Medicine Institute.  “Clinicians will benefit from the knowledge and insight provided by Watson in the care of their patients.”

The pilot initiative is an extension of on-going programs with Cleveland Clinic to aid the advancement of big data in healthcare.

“We are very pleased with the progress being made and the impact IBM has had in the commercialization of promising genomic medicine technologies,” says Gary Fingerhut, Executive Director of Cleveland Clinic Innovations.

The use of Watson in genomic research draws on a combination of Watson’s cognitive services, deep computational biology models and IBM’s public cloud infrastructure SoftLayer.  Watson can continually ‘learn’ as it encounters new patient scenarios, and as more information becomes available through new medical research, journal articles and clinical studies.

Given the depth and speed of Watson’s ability to review massive databases, the goal of the collaboration is to increase the number of patients who have access to care options tailored to their disease’s DNA. 

“Using Watson’s cognitive computing capabilities, Cleveland Clinic aims to offer cutting-edge care to millions of patients,” said Rob Merkel, vice president, IBM Watson Group Healthcare Leader.  "We’re excited by our continued partnership with Cleveland Clinic. Together we aim to advance a new era of cognitive computing that will aide in the acceleration of new discoveries and bring forward new breakthroughs in personalized medicine.”

About Cleveland Clinic

Cleveland Clinic is a nonprofit multispecialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. Located in Cleveland, Ohio, it was founded in 1921 by four renowned physicians with a vision of providing outstanding patient care based upon the principles of cooperation, compassion and innovation. Cleveland Clinic has pioneered many medical breakthroughs, including coronary artery bypass surgery and the first face transplant in the United States. U.S. News & World Report consistently names Cleveland Clinic as one of the nation’s best hospitals in its annual “America’s Best Hospitals” survey. More than 3,000 full-time salaried physicians and researchers and 11,000 nurses represent 120 medical specialties and subspecialties. The Cleveland Clinic health system includes a main campus near downtown Cleveland, eight community hospitals, more than 75 Northern Ohio outpatient locations, including 16 full-service Family Health Centers, Cleveland Clinic Florida, the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas, Cleveland Clinic Canada, and, scheduled to begin seeing patients in 2015, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi. In 2012, there were 5.1 million outpatient visits throughout the Cleveland Clinic health system and 157,000 hospital admissions. Patients came for treatment from every state and from more than 130 countries. Visit us at  Follow us at

IBM Watson: Pioneering a New Era of Computing

IBM Watson represents a new era of computing in which apps and systems interact with human users more naturally, augment our knowledge with Big Data insights, and learn to improve how they assist us. 

Fueled by innovation from a mission to transform industries and professions, Watson is uniquely positioned at the forefront of the new era of computing, evidenced by an unmatched demonstration of what cognitive systems can bring to transform decision-making. IBM is delivering a range of cloud-based products and services to clients in industries such as banking, healthcare, insurance, retail and education. 

In January, 2014, IBM launched the IBM Watson Group, a new business unit dedicated to developing and commercializing cloud-delivered cognitive advisors. The move signifies a strategic shift by IBM to deliver a new class of software, services and apps that think, improve by learning, and discover insights from massive amounts of Big Data.

IBM is investing $1 billion into the Watson Group, focusing on development and research and bringing cloud-delivered cognitive applications and services to market. This includes $100 million available for venture investments to support IBM’s ecosystem of start-ups and businesses building cognitive apps made with Watson.

For more information on IBM Watson, visit:

To join the social discussion about Watson, include the hashtag #ibmwatson. Follow Watson on Facebook and see Watson on YouTube and Flickr.

Check out the IBM Watson press kit at:


This news content was configured by WebWire editorial staff. Linking is permitted.

News Release Distribution and Press Release Distribution Services Provided by WebWire.