Broad Institute, IBM Watson Health to predict cardiovascular risk with AI, genomics

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The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard in Cambridge, Mass., is embarking upon a three-year partnership with IBM Watson Health to develop predictive algorithms for cardiovascular diseases.

Researchers from the Broad Institute and IBM will work together to create artificial intelligence models that help clinicians predict a patient's genetic risk of developing a cardiovascular disease, chiefly by bringing together large swaths of data from DNA sequencing and EHRs.

The Broad Institute and IBM plan to make these algorithms — which will predict onset of conditions such as heart attacks and atrial fibrillation — available in the clinical setting. Researchers will collaborate with physicians and caregivers to determine how to best communicate the insights gleaned from this analysis.

"We're excited to build upon the advances we've made in polygenic risk scoring utilizing vast amount of genomic data," Sekar Kathiresan, MD, director of the cardiovascular disease initiative at the Broad Institute, said in a news release. "By coupling clinical data with genomic data, there is an exceptional opportunity to make polygenic risk scoring more robust and powerful."

This effort is part of an ongoing genomic research partnership between the Broad Institute and IBM Watson Health. In 2016, the organizations launched a five-year initiative to help researchers use AI and genomics to better understand how cancers become resistant to therapies.

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