Global precision medical diagnostic company, Pathway Genomics, has developed an mHealth app that uses IBM Watson’s cognitive computing power to provide consumers with personalised wellness information.

Pathway Genomics OME™ is a first of its kind smartphone app that merges artificial intelligence and deep learning with personal genetic information, providing users with personalised health and wellness knowledge based on the individual’s health history.

The closed-alpha release of the app was unveiled by Pathway Genomics and IBM at the Digital Health Summit at CES 2016, an annual technology event that takes place in Las Vegas, US.

The alpha version of the app incorporates information from Pathway’s “FIT” Test — a wellness-based diet, exercise and metabolism report compiled with information from the users unique genetic traits, as well as their health habits, data from GPS and wearable health monitors in addition to information from the users Apple HealthKit.

Future versions of Pathway’s OME will enable users to opt-in to include electronic health records (EHRs), insurance information and additional datasets that will enable OME to provide precise and actionable wellness recommendations. For example, if a user has genetic variants responsible for metabolizing fats, OME would then consider this information when providing genetically optimal diet plans or even restaurant and menu recommendations.

“With access to health information via mobile internet, today’s consumers are taking charge of their health and well-being more than ever before. But at the same time they are overwhelmed with understanding and interpreting the massive amounts of information that specifically impacts their health and well-being,” said CIO at Pathway Genomics, Michael Nova, MD.

“With Watson cognitive computing leveraged by our technology we are able to deliver real-time, highly personalised insights to empower people to change unhealthy behaviours, allowing them to live healthier lives in ways we never thought possible. Users will have an easy to use side-kick that can do the work of sorting through and make sense of the data that will help them to lead healthier lives,” continued Nova.

To collect relevant genetic data, after approval by a licensed MD, Pathway Genomics will mail the user a saliva DNA collection kit. Pathway will then work with additional clinicians and scientists to conduct the Pathway Fit genetic test. The Pathway Fit test specifically looks at 75 genes that focus on phenotypes like diet, exercise, lipids and sugar metabolism.

Pathway’s OME app then delivers personalised wellness insights to the user based on Pathway Genomics’ proprietary analytics of the findings from the genetic test and other user data combined with Watson cognitive computing technology, intelligent machine learning, and a collection of health and wellness information. Through Watson APIs, the Pathway app leverages Watson’s natural language processing (NLP) technology and content in the form of health and wellness information.

“We know that genetics play an important role in each person’s individual health, yet there has been limited access to services and solutions that apply genetics to behaviours that enable day-to-day wellness,” said Chief Health Officer at IBM Watson Health, Kyu Rhee, MD. 

“Pathway Genomics is the first to innovate both the specific genetic test and a Watson-powered mobile app to help individuals get insights from the data,” continued Rhee.

Pathway Genomics OME is a result of IBM’s $100 million investment strategy to spur innovation for entrepreneurial organisations that are collectively bringing forward a new generation of health apps and solutions infused with IBM Watson’s cognitive computing capabilities.

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