The evolving promise of genomic medicine and the implications for the healthcare ecosystem

Share this post:

Over the past few months IBM colleagues from across the globe have been collating their thinking on the topic of genomic medicine. Insights have been gathered from business and technology strategists in IBM Healthcare, IBM Life SciencesIBM Research, IBM Watson as well as our clients and partners.


The background to this activity is our belief that, for the first time since the Human Genome Project was completed back in 2003, we are now at a unique inflection point to move genomic medicine from a promise to reality. A mix of three major influences is driving this optimism, namely:

  • innovation in biology and technology – from cognitive computing to the use of highly specific panels of genes for testing
  • market demand – from the increased expectation from targeted treatments to genomic converging with social media
  • consumerism – including an increased uptake of direct-to- consumer genomic testing

So if we accept that genomic medicine will be a game changer for all members of the healthcare ecosystem as well as the patient then what changes can we expect to see by the end of this decade?

  • Genomic health records will become a reality as genomic information gets combined with relevant data extracted from the traditional electronic medical record
  • Greater benefits for stakeholders in the three genomic medicine cornerstones of sequencing, translational medicine and personalized healthcare. One real-life example of such benefits comes from collaboration between scientists and technologists at the New York Genome Center and IBM in a first-of-a-kind program to accelerate personalized, life-saving treatment for patients with glioblastoma, a rare form of brain cancer

  • Transformational opportunity for healthcare and life sciences industries through leveraging cognitive computing across the value chain from pre-clinical discovery to understanding and engaging consumers, and improving health outcomes



A new report from the IBM Institute for Business Value, consolidates this thinking and offers executives offers some suggestions for thinking about genomics medicine as an integral part of their enterprise strategy.

Over the next few weeks you’ll hear more on this topic from the authors and contributors to the paper so please revisit this page to read their blogs.

Also, please visit the page to download a full copy of the report. For more information e-mail me at

IBM Institute for Business Value, Global Life Sciences & Healthcare Lead

More stories

The Enormous Potential of AI for Pharmaceutical

The adoption of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in research-intensive organizations has essentially seen linear growth in recent years. Pharmaceutical, CRO, university and healthcare organizations are beginning to shift away from theoretical plans to genuine practical applications of machine intelligence. But what problems are these institutions trying to solve? Dr. Lester Russell, Associate Partner, Clinical Digital Innovation […]

Continue reading

The future of disease management – the opportunities and challenges of digital interventions

Today’s industries are being disrupted by software-driven innovations, as evidenced by Amazon’s impact in retail markets, Netflix’s success over traditional cable providers, and the upheaval in hospitality industry from online marketplaces such as Airbnb. It is hence no surprise that the healthcare industry is seeing a surge in the development of software driven products to […]

Continue reading

Predictive Modeling for Pharma Marketers: The Personalization Prescription

There’s massive opportunity in the $1,200 billion world of pharmaceutical marketing, and substantive shifts are underway as big data increases scope and narrows focus. Pharma marketers now face the challenge of combining high-level, abstract knowledge with personalized recommendations tailored to patient and health care provider (HCP) needs. Existing sales strategies and current categorization methods are […]

Continue reading