Manipal, First Hospital in India to Adopt IBM Watson

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As a doctor in India I have a unique perspective of the pressures building within the healthcare system of this country. For starters, a dwindling of physicians is being met with a rise in patient populations. Today, there is one oncologist for every 1,600 cancer patients – and with rising rates of cancer around the world, the physician shortage is acute.

This challenge is amplified by the explosion of knowledge in healthcare. Our oncologists have to cull through reams of medical journals, studies and clinical records at a time when medical information is doubling every two years.

Scratching the Surface

The opportunity for cognitive computing to transform business processes, customer outcomes and government service delivery is accelerating in Asia. For business and government leaders alike, the essential mindset is that all data created captured and collated can be used to create better decisions. We have only scratched the surface of the insights that data will provide us.

Over the last year, we have witnessed an increasing number of clients in Asia Pacific who are well down the path of creating industry-leading capabilities with cognitive technologies that are resulting in impressive early outcomes based on a range of technologies through Watson. You can read more in the ‘Watson will enable the Asian Century’ now available for download.

– Phil Hassey, CEO capioIT

This proliferation of medical knowledge is incredibly valuable, but it is difficult to sift through as our doctors work to identify effective treatment options for each individual cancer patient.

All these factors and more compelled us to consider how a technology-based solution could help us deliver at scale world class cancer care to our patients at Manipal’s 15 hospitals.

With approximately one million new cancer cases each year in India, we watched with interest the work that IBM was doing with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre, one of the world’s leading cancer centres and how together IBM and MSK were training Watson to help doctors identify treatment options for cancer patients. With Watson’s ability to assimilate vast pools of knowledge – and serve up confidence-ranked treatment options – we knew this technology could support evidence-based decisions, helping doctors identify potential treatment options for cancer patients at Manipal. It is only through evidence-based practice, with the patient at the center of their care, that we will achieve a value-driven healthcare system.

After a thorough analysis of Watson’s capabilities, and many discussions with IBM experts it became clear to us that IBM Watson for Oncology is an essential tool for our doctors. Watson will give our oncologists the ability to explore treatment options, analyze information provided, and gather evidence specific to a patients’ individual health needs. This could speed up their ability to make tailored treatment decisions for their patients, and when you are dealing with cancer, it’s always a race.

With IBM’s Watson for Oncology, we can combine our clinicians’ expertise across various types of cancers with a cognitive computing solution informed by expert training from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. We believe the result will be to raise the level of care throughout the region.

Global Program Manager, Cloud Communications; Managing Editor, IBM THINK Blog

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