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Novartis, IBM Watson Health partner on outcomes-based care in advanced breast cancer

Monday, June 12, 2017

Novartis announced a first-of-its-kind collaboration with IBM Watson Health on an initiative to optimize cancer care and improve patient outcomes. The two companies will collaborate to explore development of a cognitive solution that uses real-world data and advanced analytical techniques with the aim to provide better insights on the expected outcomes of breast cancer treatment options.

With one of the broadest portfolios and largest number of advanced breast cancer compounds in development, breast cancer is a priority oncology focus area for Novartis. Scientific understanding of advanced breast cancer is improving and the treatment landscape is expanding, but new therapies and real-world evidence can raise more questions around the optimal treatment plan for individual patients.

This collaboration will join Novartis expertise in breast cancer with IBM Watson Health skill in data analytics and machine learning to determine which combinations and sequences may lead to the best patient outcomes. The initiative primarily will use real-world patient data.

“Through this collaboration with IBM Watson Health, we will use real-world breast cancer data and cognitive computing to identify solutions that may help physicians better understand which therapy may be best for which patients or advise clinical practice guidelines, with the goal of improving patient outcomes and experiences,” said Bruno Strigini, CEO, Novartis Oncology. “We hope this collaboration also uncovers care efficiencies that can be applied beyond breast cancer.”

“At Watson Health, we are tackling some of the world’s greatest challenges at the nexus of science and data, and we are proud to work with Novartis to better individualize advanced breast cancer treatment approaches in an effort to enhance patient care,” said Anil Jain, M.D., chief medical informatics officer, IBM Watson Health. “As the industry shifts toward value-based care, it’s critical for clinicians to understand the real-world outcomes of therapeutics on subsets of their patients, and our goal ultimately is to put those insights into oncologists’ hands. With the deep expertise of Novartis in breast cancer, we are confident that this collaboration may provide transformative tools for clinicians and patients to make more informed treatment decisions.”

Watson is the first commercially available cognitive computing capability representing a new era in computing. The system, delivered through the cloud, analyzes high volumes of data, understands complex questions posed in natural language and proposes evidence-based answers. Watson continuously learns, gaining in value and knowledge over time, from previous interactions.

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