Last month, three life sciences giants announced new or deepening partnerships with IBM, to capitalise on IBM’s supercomputer, ‘Watson’, an artificially intelligent computer system. ibm_watsonThere has been a lot of buzz recently about how big data can be meaningfully applied in the healthcare setting to assist with product development and disease treatment. The European Medicines Agency has recognised the potential of exciting opportunity of exploiting big data with the capability of significantly contributing to the way the benefit-risk of medicines is assessed over a product’s lifecycle. The flurry of recent announcements indicate that we are entering into the new era of cognitive computing that is capable of re-engineering product development and improving assessment of performance of medicines or healthcare products on the market.
IBM’s supercomputer, nicknamed ‘Watson’, made headlines in 2011 for beating two of the gameshow Jeopardy’s greatest human champions. It did so by making use of cognitive computing technology, which involves teaching computers to process large amounts of information in a way similar to how humans think, with the capability to analyse and interpret data in various formats including those that are unstructured.
Since its days of gameshow glory, Watson has advanced its offerings to include applications that are specific to healthcare. Following the launch of Watson Health in 2015, IBM has lined up several large pharmaceutical companies to partner with in using and developing the new technology.
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Source: Lexology – Arnold & Porter LLPLouise StromJacqueline Mulryne and Lincoln Tsang