IBM Invests in Pathway Genomics to Help Personalize Consumer Health
News Nov 22, 2014
Cognitive apps are in market and continue to change the way professionals and consumers make decisions. To help accelerate this transformation, the IBM Watson Group has announced an investment in Pathway Genomics Corporation, a clinical laboratory that offers genetic testing services globally, to help deliver the first-ever cognitive consumer-facing app based on genetics from a user’s personal makeup.
This brings Pathway Genomics’ funding in the last six years to more than $80 million, making it one of the industry’s best capitalized start-up healthcare companies. In October, Pathway Genomics was included in Inc. magazine’s Coolest Products of the Inc. 500. The genetic test was ranked in the top 12 services and products from 5000 companies across the nation.
According to Allied Market Research, the bioinformatics market, which includes genetics, is expected to grow to $12.86 billion by 2020. IBM and Pathway are on the cutting edge of offering truly personalized wellness information.
Pathway Genomics is aiming to revolutionize the health and wellness industry by leveraging the natural language processing and cognitive capabilities of Watson. For the first time consumers will be able to ask the Pathway Panorama app questions to gain insights and options powered by the cognitive intellect of Watson, based on their own wellness-related genes, wearable data, and other related wellness information, like emotional, physical and social well being.
The new mobile app, Pathway Panorama, will be designed to call upon Watson’s unique ability to uncover insights from Big Data by understanding the complexities of human language, referencing millions of pages of healthcare data from medical journals and clinic trial data within seconds.
The data will be combined with information about the individual’s lifestyle and wellness-related biomarker data to provide personalized options to help the user and their physician make informed decisions about living a healthier life. Panorama will also routinely monitor a user’s health and wellness information, and ping the user with any new relevant recommendations.
For example, a consumer will be able to ask the Pathway Panorama app questions based on their DNA, like “How much exercise should I do today?” to “How much coffee can I drink on Monday?” The cognitive app answers and provides options based on the millions of healthcare-related evidence-based data, provided by Pathway Genomics, ingested by Watson and on the individual’s biomarker, vital signs (wearables), DNA, electronic health records, and other information.
“The medical industry is undergoing a dramatic and systemic change, giving consumers and their physicians a powerful tool built upon cognitive learning and Watson will make the change even more transformative,” said Michael Nova, M.D., Chief Medical Officer, Pathway Genomics; and Member of Watson Advisory Board. “IBM is viewed worldwide as forward thinking pioneers in the development of electronic knowledge, and also sets gold standard in the industry for the delivery of that knowledge. We are fortunate to team with them as we enter this new era of cognitive medicine.”
“By tapping into IBM Watson’s cognitive computing capabilities, Pathway Genomics is allowing consumers to ask health related questions, in their own words and receive personalized and relevant responses,” said Stephen Gold, Vice President, IBM Watson Group. “Cognitive computing solutions based on Watson’s transformative technology will help define how consumers and businesses alike make better informed lifestyle decisions, enabling better outcomes.”
In January, the Watson Group announced to advance new cognitive computing capabilities. IBM is investing $100 million to spur innovation for entrepreneurial organizations - ranging from start-ups and VC-backed companies to established players - who, like Pathway Genomics, are collectively bringing forward a new generation of apps and solutions infused with Watson’s cognitive computing capabilities.
IBM Watson: Pioneering a New Era of Computing
IBM Watson represents a new era of computing in which third party apps and systems will interact with human users more naturally, augment our knowledge with Big Data insights, and learn to improve how they assist us.
Fueled by innovation from a mission to transform industries and professions, Watson is uniquely positioned at the forefront of the new era of computing, evidenced by an unmatched demonstration of what cognitive systems can bring to transform decision-making. IBM is delivering a range of cloud-based products and services to clients in industries such as banking, healthcare, insurance, retail and education.
IBM is investing $1 billion into the Watson Group, focusing on development and research and bringing cloud-delivered cognitive applications and services to market. This includes $100 million available for venture investments to support IBM’s ecosystem of start-ups and businesses building cognitive apps made with Watson.
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