By Dr. Lukas Wartman
I have the dubious distinction of being a famous cancer patient. I’m an oncologist who specializes in leukemia; I got leukemia; and I’m cured, at least for now, thanks to advances in genomic medicine and the efforts of some brilliant physicians and researchers.
My health was broken. It took some of the best minds and science in the world to put me back together again.
Unfortunately, in spite of advances in gene sequencing and oncology, too few cancer victims have outcomes like mine. The genomic treatment I received, an example of precision medicine, simply isn’t scalable to millions of people right now.
This is where IBM Watson could help. Using Watson’s cognitive computing capabilities, I hope it will be possible for oncologists like me to quickly mine insights from the immense amount of genomic data that’s becoming available about individual patients by using Watson to identify potential drugs that target our patients’ specific genetic profiles.
By Dr. Patrick Parfrey
Research within the Faculty of Medicine at Memorial University of Newfoundland is about to enter a new era.
For decades, researchers at our facility followed traditional routes to answer their research question with the hope of finding a sometimes elusive answer that could affect change. Conventionally at the end of the project, with luck, a good research paper was published in a high-impact journal. And for a substantial amount of time these findings didn’t move in the direction of change the researchers had hoped.
The Translational & Personalized Medicine Initiative (TPMI) is a program that will support the broader goals of health system reform through the creation of a sustainable health system by reducing inappropriate utilization, increasing efficiencies, improving cost effectiveness, and improving patient outcomes. Continue Reading »
By Osamuyimen T. Stewart, Ph.D.
The World Health Organization estimates that almost 10,000 cases of the Ebola virus disease have been reported since the latest outbreak was first reported in March 2014, resulting in more than 4,800 deaths. According to the WHO, widespread and intense transmission is occurring in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, while localized transmissions have occurred in other countries, such as the U.S.
Of the many daunting challenges facing local governments and aid organizations as they try to contain and manage the virus is the collection and analysis of information — current and insightful data about the situation on the ground, such as the needs of affected people, the supplies and services they require and the need for education to address socio-cultural obstacles.
If we can map all the data, we can figure out what needs to be done and who we need to partner with to get it done. Continue Reading »
By Jia Chen, PhD
In the most popular eldercare home located in the heart of downtown Beijing, there are more than 10,000 applicants waiting for one of its 1,100 beds. The waiting list is currently 100 years long as only a few beds open up each year.
By the end of 2013, there were more than 200 million people over the age of 60 in China, accounting for 20% of the elderly population worldwide, making it the country with the most senior citizens in the world.
China is also the country with the fastest growing aging population. It’s projected that the elderly population will grow by 10 million per year in China and reach over 400 million in the next 20 years. It took the United States 79 years to double its elderly population from 7% to 14% of the total population. It will take China only 27 years to achieve the same growth. Continue Reading »
By Ronan Rooney
There has been a lot of discussion about the cost of health care and many suggestions about how we can improve population health.
Traditional models of care focus on individual episodes and they work really well for people with simple clinical, behavioral or social challenges. Where they fall down is when they’re applied to people who have multiple or complex challenges – the people we consider the most vulnerable.
As part of IBM’s Curam Research Team, we’re very focused on finding new ways to help those vulnerable citizens who are responsible for a disproportionate amount of healthcare expenditure – the top 5% of spenders drive 45%-50% of total medical spending. Continue Reading »
One year ago, IBM, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and the Fund for Lake George announced the Jefferson Project, an ambitious effort to model the entire lake – its depths and shoreline – to get a holistic and accurate view of everything happening in and around one of the United State’s pristine lakes.
The goals of the project are multifold and include understanding and managing the complex factors impacting the lake, from invasive species, pollution, and other factors, to developing a template to use in other fresh water bodies around the globe. Continue Reading »
By Dr. Guillermo Cecchi
More than 63 million psychiatric interviews are conducted every year. But none of them are analyzed in a quantitative codified manner. Surprising? Not really. Doctors don’t have time to find patterns in the pages of notes they keep per patient. Those pages, though, keep “big data” on psychiatric issues that analytics can help unlock and predict before episodes occur.
Now, after a multi-year study and accompanying development of text analysis algorithms, we may finally be able to quantify patterns in these interviews, and help doctors treat patients suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and other conditions. Continue Reading »
By Jay Katzen
For our customers in the medical field, great research can enable great outcomes – from avoiding errors to ensuring patients feel comfortable and informed.
I know first hand how frustrating and anxiety-provoking a hospital visit can be. Not too long ago, I rushed to a hospital emergency room to seek treatment and was disturbed when my medical history wasn’t captured, tests weren’t explained, and no one helped me understand my diagnosis and treatment.
Fortunately, the consequences weren’t grave. Still, I see my experience as a symptom of a healthcare system where it’s difficult for doctors to easily research the clinical information needed to make decisions, given the time constraints they face. Continue Reading »
By Mark Daley
The tools and methodologies of “Big Data” provide us with new – necessarily automated – ways to boil down vast quantities of data into a form that is easier to digest. Critical tools include algorithms for dimensionality reduction, machine learning and large-scale visualization.
Beyond Big Data, many researchers are also beginning to face the related challenge of “fast data” – that is, real-time, streaming data for which an analysis is only useful if the results can be had quickly. For example, imagine a system designed to predict adverse weather events to mitigate losses to human life or damage to property. Clearly, the prediction is not useful if it comes 12 hours after the event. Continue Reading »
By Linda Becker
Across the U.S. and around the world, businesses, governments and healthcare leaders realize the need to transform healthcare. New legislation and mandates cannot change the culture of a community or the trajectory of care or cost.
Recently I was invited to participate in a panel discussion as part of IBM’s Economic Development and Vitality Symposium in Washington, D.C., to share the dramatic story of how Rochester, N.Y., was able to transform itself in tough economic times through Smarter Care. It is an inspiring story of how to bring disparate groups together in a community to make a real difference for its citizens, and one that I am privileged to have been able to witness firsthand in my roles as Chairman of the Board of Rochester General Hospital and founder of a healthcare event and continuing education company called NorthStar Network. Continue Reading »