Teva partners with IBM to create health solutions using the Watson Health Cloud

Teva was selected as the first foundational life sciences partner for IBM's Watson Health Cloud, the companies announced Thursday. Under the terms of the partnership, Teva will become the first drugmaker permitted to use the Watson Health Cloud as its global technology platform to "benefit patients and healthcare providers across geographies." Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

In the collaboration, the companies noted that Teva will seek to identify solutions for chronic diseases such as asthma, pain, migraine and neurodegenerative diseases. Additionally, a combined Teva-IBM research team will utilise "big data" and machine learning technology to generate disease models and advanced therapeutic solutions. The Israeli drugmaker, which plans to introduce its first e-health solution next year, explained that it is looking to find solutions designed to collect and analyse real-world evidence, as well as inform several initiatives, including reducing drug misuse or increasing adherence to prescribed medications.

"Teva is actively exploring the e-health evolution with a strong focus on fulfilling unmet and emerging patients' needs," said the company's chief information officer Guy Hadari. He added that "by building on the Watson Health Cloud, we believe Teva will be in a unique position to put the best information and insights in the hands of physicians, care teams and patients, to empower treatment optimisation for individuals and populations across the spectrum of acute and chronic conditions."

Separately, IBM announced that it entered into agreements with various health institutions and organisations that are "leveraging Watson's capabilities to transform key aspects of the healthcare ecosystem." Specifically, IBM said it will "integrate Watson's deep and iterative question and answer capability to enhance and scale the OPENPediatrics initiative" of Boston Children's Hospital, which aims to allow paediatric caregivers worldwide to share best practices. Meanwhile, medical departments at Columbia University will be involved in testing IBM Watson's ability to help oncologists translate DNA insights into personalised treatment options, while an agreement with Sage Bionetworks will permit the research organisation to use the Watson Health Cloud to "aggregate, store, curate, and analyse data collected via apps using" Apple's software framework ResearchKit.

IBM also disclosed the opening of the global headquarters for its Watson Health unit in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

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