Novartis turns to AI in fight against breast cancer

The Basel-based pharmaceutical company Novartis has teamed up with IBM Watson Health in the fight against breast cancer. The artificial intelligence system Watson will be used to analyse data in an effort to identify suitable treatment methods.

Aerial View of the Basel Campus, Novartis HQ
Novartis has teamed up with IBM Watson Health in the fight against breast cancer. (image credit: Novartis)

The collaboration brings together Novartis’ real-world patient data and breast cancer expertise together with IBM Watson Health’s proficiency in data analytics and machine learning. Watson is capable of analysing high volumes of data and understanding complex questions.

"Through this collaboration with IBM Watson Health, we will use real-world breast cancer data and cognitive computing to identify solutions that may help physicians better understand which therapy may be best for which patients," Novartis Oncology CEO Bruno Strigini said in a statement announcing the collaboration. 

He added that the goal of the collaboration is to improve patient outcomes and experiences, with the ultimate objective of uncovering "care efficiencies that can be applied beyond breast cancer".

Anil Jain, Chief Medical Informatics Officer at IBM Watson Health, explained that the collaboration will use real-world patient data in an effort to further enhance patient care. "With the deep expertise of Novartis in breast cancer, we are confident that this collaboration may provide transformative tools for clinicians and patients to make more informed treatment decisions."

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