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With IBM, Elekta to bring AI to radiotherapy

by John R. Fischer, Senior Reporter | January 31, 2018
Artificial Intelligence Health IT Rad Oncology Radiation Therapy
Elekta is combining the capabilities
of its MOSAIQ Oncology Information
System with the the AI and cloud
computing abilities of IBM's Watson
for Oncology
Elekta is throwing its health IT hat into the artificial intelligence ring by pairing up with IBM Watson Health in a collaboration that combines the capabilities of Elekta’s MOSAIQ Oncology Information System and IBM’s Watson for Oncology platform.

The agreement sets the foundation for an interface utilizing Watson for Oncology as a clinical decision support solution with MOSAIQ to enhance treatment planning and enable evidence-based treatment recommendations for any patient no matter their location. It also makes Elekta the first radiation therapy company to combine capabilities of conventional health information systems with artificial intelligence and cognitive cloud computing.

“This interface will be able to upload patient data, including the lab reports, the documents and diagnoses, and patient information directly from MOSAIQ into the Watson products,” Andrew Wilson, vice president of global marketing-software at Elekta, told HCB News. “From a physician’s perspective, it will become a relatively seamless operation. The data will be uploaded with a click, and information will be ready in Watson for it to build analysis. It will mean that when sites are configured with MOSAIQ and Watson, they’ll have this functionality."

The desire for data-driven, evidence-based cancer care has fueled the growth and availability of medical information to the point where it is expected to double every 73 days by 2020, outpacing the ability of humans to keep up with its proliferation.

Watson for Oncology summarizes key medical attributes of patients and provides oncologists with information to help them choose treatment options based on training by oncologists from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK), where Watson for Oncology was developed by IBM as part of a collaboration.

It also ranks treatment options and links to peer-reviewed studies curated by MSK, while providing access to nearly 15 million pages of text to guide physicians on different treatment options, with information derived from more than 300 medical journals and more than 200 textbooks.

Its combination with Elekta’s MOSAIQ will enable users to access an exhaustive amount of data that Watson has been able to provide on a global scale, and utilize MSK protocols.

“I think it absolutely redefines that treating cancer is reliably data-driven and requires evidence-based outcomes,” said Wilson. “With the exponential change that exists in the amount of information that’s available, while clinicians have a really strong standard in terms of training and education, having something like the physician support tools created by Watson to help make those decisions for them provides them an additional level of confidence so that they can basically confirm with Watson that they can make the right decisions for the patient.”

The interface will follow an FHIR protocol which is an HL7 industry standard.

Sales are set to begin in early 2018 with plans to distribute both solutions in the U.S., Brazil, India, Australia and certain major European and Asian markets.

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