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  • IBM, Apple merge health data

    Author: AAP

IBM has announced alliances with Apple and others to put artificial intelligence to work drawing potentially life-saving insights from the booming amount of health data generated on personal devices.

IBM is collaborating with Apple, Medtronic and Johnson & Johnson to use its Watson artificial intelligence system to give users insights and advice from personal health information gathered from fitness trackers, smartphones, implants or other devices.

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The initiative is trying to take advantage of medical records increasingly being digitised, allowing quick access for patients and healthcare providers if the information can be stored and shared effectively. IBM wants to create a platform for that sharing.

"All this data can be overwhelming for providers and patients alike, but it also presents an unprecedented opportunity to transform the ways in which we manage our health," IBM senior vice president John Kelly said in a news release.

"We need better ways to tap into and analyse all of this information in real-time to benefit patients and to improve wellness globally."

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IBM expects more companies to join the health platform, which it envisions growing to a global scale.

In addition, the New York based company said it is acquiring a pair of healthcare technology companies and establishing an IBM health unit.

Watson is a cognitive computing system that bested human competition in a Jeopardy trivia television game show.

Under the partnership it will be able to handle data collected using health applications from Apple mobile devices, according to IBM.

"Now IBM's secure cloud and analytics capabilities provide additional tools to help accelerate discoveries across a wide variety of health issues," Apple senior vice president of operations Jeff Williams said in a release.

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