IBM’s artificial intelligence program Watson is diving deeper into healthcare.
The computing giant and Teva Pharmaceuticals announced on Wednesday that they were taking their ongoing health partnership into new territory.
First, the companies formed a three-year research collaboration aimed at using human input, real-world data, and machine learning algorithms to support drug repurposing efforts, wrote FierceBiotech.
Watson will sift through all of this information to try and find relationships between drug molecules and certain diseases. A successful initiative like this could install an efficient, cost-effective process that the entire pharmaceutical industry can adopt to help bring new therapies to market.
“There is so much data out there that is currently underutilized, yet has the potential to significantly inform drug repurposing. Eighty percent of all health data is invisible to current technology systems because it’s unstructured,” said Ajay Royyuru, Ph.D., IBM fellow & the director of Healthcare & Life Sciences for IBM Research, in a statement.
“Using cognitive technologies to mine this data could reveal novel therapies for diseases that desperately need tackling. By teaming up with Teva, our belief is we will gain insights that can lead pharmaceutical companies to develop new medicines that benefit patients worldwide,” he added.
Also, both firms will work together on a chronic disease management system combining IBM’s cognitive computing capabilities with Teva’s therapeutic technology. This program would harness 6 billion data points along with cloud-connected drug delivery and app technology to help calculate the risk of potential health events like an asthma attack.
Teva noted it would abide by the necessary operational and security requirements to keep this health information safe, but this news signifies the company’s interest in unique strategies for combating diseases.
The drug maker agreed to work with Intel last month on a collaboration to produce a wearable device that monitors the progression of Huntington’s disease.