Watson's data capabilities to help VA personalize cancer care for 10,000 veterans

The Department of Veterans Affairs has partnered with IBM Watson Health to expand the department's precision medicine oncology program. The VA and IBM announced the partnership at Vice President Joe Biden's National Cancer Moonshot Summit Wednesday.

Over the next two years, IBM's Watson for Genomics technology will help providers identify precision treatments for 10,000 American veterans with cancer. The public-private collaboration will quicken the pace providers are able to treat patients by mining and analyzing data.

Watson for Genomics will provide physicians with a list of potential therapies ranked by levels of evidence to help them evaluate treatment options.

"Genetic alterations are responsible for most cancers, but it remains challenging for most clinicians to deliver on the promise of precision medicine due to the sheer volume of data surrounding each decision that needs to be made," said David Shulkin, MD, the VA's undersecretary for health. "By applying Watson to this problem, we see an opportunity to scale access to precision medicine for America's veterans."

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