IBM partners with Apple, Canadian firm Medtronic, J&J

IBM Corp. is collaborating closely with Canadian medical technology and services firm Medtronic Canada Ltd., Apple Inc., and Johnson & Johnson to form a new health unit.

Big Blue is using its super computer-based Watson Health Cloud platform to develop new health-based offerings that will use information collected from millions of personal health, medical and fitness devices built by Apple and Medtronics. The new unit will be called the Watson Health Unit.

Medtronic, a company headquartered in Brampton, Ont., will use the Watson health Cloud to deliver “new highly-personalized solutions” for people with diabetes.

The solutions will receive and analyze patient information and data from various Medtronic devices including insulin pumps glucose monitors, according to a statement from IBM. The data will be used to come up with personalized diabetes management strategies for patients and their care providers.

According to IBM, each person generates one million gigabytes of health-related data throughout his or her lifetime. The information generated is equivalent to more than 300 million books. The task of the new unit is to help patients, doctors, researchers and insurers find a way to use that data to provide better care for the patient.

The Watson Health Cloud to provide a secure cloud platform and analytics for Apple’s HealthKit and ResearchKit.

This will support health data entered by customers in iOS apps and also arm medical researchers with a secure, open data storage solution with access to IBM’s most sophisticated data analytics capabilities.

Johnson & Johnson will collaborate with IBM to create intelligent coaching systems centered on preoperative and postoperative patient care, including joint replacement and spinal surgery.

The solutions will be mobile-based, accessing the Watson Health Cloud and leveraging IBM Watson’s cognitive capabilities. Johnson & Johnson will also look to launch new health apps targeting chronic conditions, which currently cost consumers as much as 80 per cent of the $7 trillion global healthcare spend.

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Nestor E. Arellano
Nestor E. Arellano
Toronto-based journalist specializing in technology and business news. Blogs and tweets on the latest tech trends and gadgets.

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