IBM Watson Health and the American Diabetes Association have created a long-term collaboration to bring together the cognitive computing power of Watson and the Association’s extensive storehouse of diabetes clinical and research data.

The goal of the collaboration is to develop Watson-powered solutions that enable the diabetes community to optimise clinical, research and lifestyle data, according to the announcement made at the Association’s 76th annual Scientific Sessions event.

“For more than 75 years, the American Diabetes Association has promoted a data-driven approach to clinical care and disease management because we know it can significantly improve peoples’ lives while also reducing health care costs,” said CEO of the Association, Kevin L. Hagan.

“By combining the Association’s enormous body of valuable data with Watson’s cognitive computing capabilities, we will empower people living with diabetes, clinicians and researchers with better data and better insights, which ultimately can lead to better outcomes,” continued Hagan.

Using Watson, the research team will create a cognitive diabetes database to create personalised treatment plans and improve care management. Providers can use this database to identify potential risk factors for their patients based on comparisons to populations found in the database.

According to the release, the research team plans to create a cloud-based data and insights service that enables scientists to apply Watson to the Association’s body of clinical and scientific evidence to help them find hidden patterns, potentially identifying better therapies for diabetes patients.

Furthermore, the two organisations also announced a challenge to app developers to propose cognitive innovations that may transform how diabetes is prevented and managed. Developers are invited to propose cognitive apps that leverage the Association’s rich database. The challenge will be open for submissions this winter.

The purpose of the challenge is to advance the use of technology to promote health and to ultimately help improve the lives of those living with diabetes or prediabetes.

“As the science of diabetes advances, big data presents a tremendous opportunity in diabetes care and prevention. But patients, caregivers and healthcare providers need access to cognitive tools that can help them translate that big data into action, and Watson can offer access to timely, personalised insights,” said Chief Health Officer at IBM Watson Health, Kyu Rhee, MD.

“The American Diabetes Association is the ideal partner for IBM to enable this type of developer challenge, given the Association’s role establishing clinical care standards worldwide. Our collective goal is to provide the motivation, the tools and the insights to transform clinical care, self-management and accelerate scientific breakthroughs,” concluded Rhee.

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