IBM makes Watson available as health benefit to help employees fighting cancer, in collaboration with Best Doctors
IBM today announced that many IBM U.S. employees fighting cancer will be able to tap into Watson for insights into their cancer treatment as well as potential clinical trial options. Through a unique collaboration with Best Doctors, an expert clinical consultation provider, qualifying IBMers and their family members will have access to Watson’s suite of oncology offerings for insights on cancer treatment options, when covered under IBM’s U.S. medical plan. The benefit will be available as of January 1, 2017.
With the patient’s permission, the Best Doctors team will collect medical records and feed relevant data into Watson. Watson will then generate a report, which will be reviewed by world-renowned expert oncologists in the Best Doctors network. The final assessment will be provided to the patient and their treating oncologist.
“For anyone receiving the diagnosis, or supporting a loved one through it, cancer can be overwhelming,” said Kyu Rhee, MD, chief health officer, IBM Watson Health. “Now a second opinion staffed by the powerful combination of Watson and world-renowned oncologists in the Best Doctors network is readily available. With this first-ever U.S. rollout of the technology, the full breadth and depth of Watson’s services can benefit an entire population of individuals who need them.”
“We are delighted to continue IBM’s leadership in employee health and wellness benefits with these new Watson Oncology offerings,” said Barbara Brickmeier, vice president of employee benefits, IBM. “The promise of Watson and IBM’s healthcare moonshot becomes very real and very personal with this announcement.”
The Watson services provided through Best Doctors will include Watson for Oncology, Watson for Genomics, and Watson for Clinical Trial Matching. Watson for Oncology provides clinicians with evidence-based treatment recommendations related to breast, lung, colorectal and gastric cancers. Watson for Clinical Trial Matching helps clinicians match eligible patients with relevant clinical trials. Watson for Genomics analyzes the genomic profile from a patient’s tumor and provides clinicians information about potential cancer-causing mutations, providing insights on targeted therapies.
IBM is also harnessing the power of Watson to help its U.S. employees with personalized decision making for annual benefits enrollment, and offers additional Watson-infused services such as Welltok’s health optimization platform, CaféWell Concierge.