IBM and Illumina announced on Monday a new partnership to use Watson’s technology to analyze and understand genomic data derived from Illumina’s cancer profiling system. The goal of the partnership is to “simplify genomic data interpretation” or in other words, make it easier to understand the genes within cancer cells.
In a statement, IBM explains by adding Watson’s technology and partnering with Illumina, researchers will be able to gain more information not currently available with Illumina’s technology. In fact, Illumina will be using their trademarked TruSight Tumor 170, which profiles variations across 170 genes.
IBM continues by saying that Watson for Genomics will filter through medical literature, previous clinical trials, and other data to provide a comprehensive look inside the genetic data. In fact, IBM points out that Watson for Genomics collects over ten thousand scientific articles and a hundred new clinical trials every month. Essentially, IBM’s Watson allows for a computer to filter through hundreds of thousands of research articles and studies saving scientists time and energy.
The President and CEO of Illumina, Francis deSouza explained in a statement that the comprehensive genetic profile collected by Illumina’s TruSight Tumor 170 and analyzed via IBM’s Watson the CEO hopes to collect more information surrounding genomic changes faster than ever before.
IBM’s Watson is becoming big business for the tech giant. The company’s Watson first launched into the scene in 2011 after defeating a long list of Jeopardy champions. Since then, the company has partnered with Pfizer, The Weather Channel, BMW and other tech companies.
More specifically, IBM Watson Health and their corresponding Watson Health Cloud platform provides additional information for doctors, scientists and insurance companies to search through personal health data and the latest research.
Meanwhile, artificial intelligence is becoming a big business. A 2016 study by CB Insights found that more than $1 billion has been spent on promoting AI companies.