Life Sciences

No lazy summers for Watson Health: heavy on ‘a’ – action

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Personal values. Commercial pressures. These are forces that shape our jobs every day, especially for leaders in the life sciences. As individuals, we want to solve urgent problems that touch us deeply. As professionals representing growing businesses, we act on our beliefs best when they align with distinct market opportunities.

The oft heard slogan of the DIA organization – driving insights to action – has been a call to bring ‘thinking’ and ‘doing’ together too. At DIA 2018 last June, experts from pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and device companies gathered together to gain a better understanding of “three converging elements,” according to DIA leadership:

  • Innovative technologies that have health and clinical research applications
  • The market-maturity of these advanced technologies
  • The global regulatory environment needed to support innovation in clinical research

Indeed, numerous discussions concerning clinical trials, treatments, data and analytics were viewed in the context of new technologies – from gene editing to machine learning and AI –advanced tools at work today that are being realized, not simply theorized. It wasn’t just about exchanging ideas though – it was also about exchanging business cards – to effect change. From the get-go, a clear message stood out:

To solve problems, partnerships must be cultivated.

Dr. Nora Volkow, Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse at the US National Institutes of Health, gave an impassioned plea for health companies of varying backgrounds to come together to undo this complex and deadly national emergency. She urged the industry to strive for a time soon when pain and addiction can be completely managed through new treatments, medical devices, and technologies.

This rallying call is one that IBM Watson Health has been meeting head on with its offerings in the life sciences and its efforts to bring AI to bear in managing a range of diseases and conditions, including opioid addiction.

And partners need to act now.

Just before DIA, one of our partners, Medtronic, launched Sugar.IQ, an application it developed with us to help people with diabetes on multiple daily insulin injections manage their disease. Data presented at the 78th Scientific Sessions of the American Diabetes Association showed the actual value of AI for people with diabetes.

We also attended the mHealth Summit in July as part of a growing network of organizations implementing ‘connected health’ for clinical trials. Here, experts and innovators in digital and clinical development addressed the operational and regulatory challenges of running mobile and digital-enabled clinical trials. And at the 34th International Conference on Pharmacoepidemiology in August, we joined epidemiologists worldwide who are interested in advancing research through new ways of building robust patient cohorts. With our comprehensive EHR data and advanced tools to analyze treatment pathways, our partners can now create meaningful cohorts directly and rapidly.

True, problems aren’t solved overnight or acted upon in a day. But each of these summer meetings were exciting for us because we showed that health and clinical research technologies from Watson Health are fast at work all over the world each day. Our solutions in the life sciences support efficiencies in clinical trial design and pharmacovigilance, as well as new and accelerated treatments through drug development and the digitization of data. And with the power Watson technology, our offerings are now playing leading roles in predictive analytics.

We hope you find many opportunities to interact with IBM Watson Health Life Sciences. Please connect with us at our next event – Connected Health Conference – and request further information on our offerings.

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