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Apollo Hospitals Adopts IBM Watson for Oncology and Genomics for Data-Driven Cancer Care Decisions

IBM  and Apollo Hospitals – one of India’s largest specialty hospital systems – today announced that Apollo will adopt Watson for Oncology and Watson for Genomics. The two IBM cognitive computing platforms will help physicians provide patients with personalized, evidence-based cancer care. This agreement is the first-of-its kind Watson for Oncology & Watson for Genomics deployment in India.

Apollo Hospitals will build on its long legacy of clinical excellence with dedicated cancer care hospitals in India by implementing Watson for Oncology and Watson for Genomics across ten of its 64 hospitals. Watson for Oncology will be available at the Apollo Chennai and Delhi hospital from April 2018, followed by Hyderabad, Mumbai, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Bhubaneshwar and Madurai over the next few months. Watson for Genomics will become available across the same locations in the following months. The Watson for Oncology and Watson for Genomics solutions will help oncologists at Apollo surface relevant data to bridge disparate sources of information and identify treatments that are personalized to each unique patient.

Apollo Hospitals is widely acknowledged as the pioneer of private healthcare in India and a proponent of integrated healthcare, since its inception in 1983. Till date, Apollo Hospitals has touched the lives of over 50 million individuals from 140 countries. It’s also one of India’s largest private sector hospitals for cancer care – with a combined capacity of 10,000 beds with 10 hospitals focused on treating patients. With all these capabilities and more, Apollo aims to set benchmark standards in clinical outcomes, technology and practices in select acute and tertiary care services such as — cardiology, oncology, neurosciences and more.

According to a report published by the World Health Organization, (1) India – there are an estimated 9. 49 lakh new cancer cases in India annually, accounting for more than 6.34 lakh deaths related to cancer each year. Also, as per the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), (2) there will be close to 17.3 lakh cancer cases likely to be reported in India by 2020, accounting for more than 8.8 lakh estimated number of deaths by 2020.

As healthcare providers seek to enable data-driven, evidence-based cancer care, an explosion of medical information has created both challenges and opportunities to improve quality care. Currently, approximately 50,000 oncology research papers are published annually, (3) and by 2020 medical information is projected to double every 73 days (4), outpacing the ability of humans to keep up with the proliferation of medical knowledge.

IBM Watson for Oncology, trained by Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK), complements the work of oncologists, supporting them in clinical decision-making by enabling them to access evidence-based, personalized treatment options from more than 300 medical journals, more than 200 textbooks, and nearly 15 million pages of text providing insight and comprehensive details on different treatment options, including key information on drug treatment selections.

IBM Watson for Genomics analyses massive bodies of genomic, clinical and pharmacological knowledge to help uncover potential therapeutic options to target genetic alterations in a patient’s tumour. Using this genomic analysis, Watson produces a report for physicians, which identifies genetic alterations that are actionable based on literature as well as drugs and clinical trials that target those alterations. Watson for Genomics has been tested and validated at more than 20 leading cancer institutes worldwide. Watson Health is a business unit of IBM that is dedicated to the development and implementation of cognitive and data-driven technologies to advance health. Watson Health technologies are tackling a wide range of the world’s biggest health care challenges, including cancer, diabetes, drug discovery and more.

Apollo Hospitals has been dedicated to providing patients with best-in-class cancer care for more than two decades now. Our collaboration with IBM is a reinforcement of our commitment to clinical excellence,” said Preetha Reddy, Vice Chairperson of the Apollo Hospitals Group. “Each person’s cancer journey is unique and hence each patient’s treatment plan must be unique too.  IBM Watson for Oncology and Genomics will help the clinicians and oncologists at Apollo Hospitals augment their own expertise to deliver an unparalleled and personalized patient care across our hospitals.”

Speaking on the collaboration, Lisa Rometty, General Manager of Oncology, Genomics and Life Sciences, IBM Watson Health said, “This collaboration with Apollo Hospitals reflects IBM’s ongoing commitment to partner with leading healthcare providers across the world to leverage the power of artificial intelligence to support cancer care. By using IBM Watson for Oncology and Watson for Genomics the physicians at Apollo Hospitals will be empowered with efficient, data-driven insights for improved evidence-based care to give physicians more time to focus on their patients.”

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