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Finland teams with IBM to enhance healthcare and innovation

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The Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation (Tekes) is teaming with IBM so Finland can use Watson cognitive computing to help improve its citizens’ health. The partnership is also directed at strengthening and developing the Finnish innovation and business ecosystem in the area of health and wellbeing.

Finnish doctors and researchers will work with Watson Health data scientists, engineers, researchers and designers to develop a new generation of data-driven healthcare applications and solutions to advance research and development in Finland. For example, the University of Jyväskylä in Central Finland will use Finnish health and wellbeing data to develop applications on the Watson Health Cloud. The goal is to develop those applications in accordance with the healthcare regulatory landscape, while also supporting the regional economy.

Rector Matti Manninen, says, “University of Jyväskylä has been experimenting with IBM Watson collaboration and it has been very fruitful. Digitalization and digital services are core fields in our strategy, and we are happy to take the next step in cooperation with IBM.”

According to IBM, the Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa (HUS) is planning to work with Watson Health and employ cognitive computing to aid in the early identification of serious bacterial infections in prematurely born babies and to bolster imaging of cerebral hemorrhage patients, as well as to aid physicians in providing patients with personalized cancer care.

“IBM’s approach to AI, with its focus on augmenting human intelligence, may open up entirely new avenues for us to develop treatments. There is potentially globally groundbreaking research in these areas of application with Watson cognitive computing,” says Markku Mäkijärvi, chief medical officer of HUS.

IBM expects that it will use the Watson Health Cloud, a health data-enabled platform-as-a-service, as a foundation for cognitive offerings designed to help enable individualized insights and provide a more complete picture of the many factors that can affect people’s health. That will be done in compliance with any operational and security requirements for Finnish health data and data reservoirs, IBM reports.

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