Business challenge

As a startup company, Cloud Therapy needed a development platform with the building blocks to create easy access to large volumes of complex, unstructured data.


The solution uses probabilistic reasoning to find and rank the best answers and employs deep learning to continually improve its accuracy rates.


50% potentially faster

diagnosis times, helping doctors better understand rare diseases

First to market

with a solution that applies cognitive computing to the diagnosis of rare diseases

Revenue growth potential

through upcoming customer launches of the solution

Business challenge story

Lack of access limits understanding of data

For patients with rare health conditions, it may take months or years to get an accurate diagnosis as doctors run multiple tests and sift through medical literature for clues. This is precious time that many patients cannot afford to lose. Pharmaceutical companies, in particular, store enormous amounts of data from drug research and development, genetics studies and clinical trials that can contain vital clues to a patient’s condition. Cloud Therapy was founded in the hope of helping doctors distill diagnostic insights from years of obscure medical literature and research. To make the idea a reality, the startup company needed a platform with cognitive computing and big data and analytics capabilities offered as a service.

We’re combining big data analytics with artificial intelligence to process health data—years of R&D that pharmaceutical companies have accumulated.

Andre Sandoval, Chief Executive Officer, Cloud Therapy

Transformation story

Cloud Therapy enables dark data extraction

Cloud Therapy uses cognitive computing to help pharmaceutical companies unlock valuable insights from their research data to help doctors better understand and diagnose rare diseases. The solution can converse with doctors in natural language and interpret their words to understand the true intent behind their questions, helping them put symptoms in context, explore diagnostic possibilities and find unusual medical cases or patterns that could provide clues to a patient’s condition. Using probabilistic reasoning to analyze terabytes of structured and unstructured data, including clinical studies, drug research and genomics data, the solution can find the best answers and rank them on a confidence scale. Each customer using the Cloud Therapy platform will upload its own data set, cleansed and compiled in PDF files to form the core of the corpus. In one of the company’s first few implementations, for example, the data set will include 13 years’ worth of content covering 9,000 rare disease cases. Trained to recognize meaningful connections in the text, the deep learning algorithms incorporate user feedback to continually improve the accuracy of their responses.

Results story

Diagnosis time for rare diseases to be cut in half

Using cognitive computing to help pharmaceutical companies and other medical organizations find obscure research data, Cloud Therapy expects to cut the diagnosis time for rare diseases in half, from six months to three on average. Better-informed doctors and faster diagnoses translate to better patient outcomes. The solution is the first technology platform to apply cognitive computing and big data analytics to the diagnosis of rare diseases, opening up a new niche market that Cloud Therapy aims to expand. The startup has already attracted the business of three enterprise customers, bringing strong revenue potential.

For the first time in the pharmaceutical industry, cognitive computing is being applied to the understanding of rare diseases, extracting value from dark data to fuel what Cloud Therapy calls “big outcomes.” The solution uses natural language processing (NLP), probabilistic reasoning and deep learning to understand the intent behind user questions, analyze terabytes of unstructured data to find the best answer and improve accuracy from repeated interactions, helping doctors recognize rare conditions more quickly and accurately.

Pharmaceutical companies and other medical research organizations have years of valuable data stashed away. For people with rare diseases, access to this information can be a matter of life and death. Yet, in the past, much of this data was inaccessible to doctors, making it difficult to reach a diagnosis. Today, Cloud Therapy gives doctors a way to navigate complex and obscure data from clinical studies and genomics research to better understand patient symptoms for a faster, more accurate diagnosis.

The Cloud Therapy platform is built to accommodate a unique corpus of data from each customer, collected from various systems and compiled into massive PDF files for ingestion and training. In one of the company’s first few implementations, for example, the data set will include proprietary research data from clinical trials, drug development and genomics, including 13 years’ worth of content covering 9,000 rare disease cases.

Cloud Therapy

Founded in 2015, Cloud Therapy was built on the idea that big data analysis and artificial intelligence can help doctors understand rare diseases by making vast stores of medical knowledge easily accessible. The platform, which is based on IBM® Watson™ and IBM Cloud technology, interacts with users in both English and Spanish. The company is based in Quito, Ecuador, and employs four people.

Solution components

  • Watson Implementation Services

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