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IBM Watson Group Invests in Pathway Genomics' Mobile App

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – The IBM Watson Group has made an investment of an undisclosed amount in Pathway Genomics, a clinical genetic testing services laboratory, that will support efforts to develop a Watson-powered mobile application called Pathway Panorama.

The app will be able to answer wellness questions based on a user's genetics and devices. Specifically, the so-called cognitive application will draw on Watson's ability to digest and draw insights from large quantities of information from millions of pages of medical journals and clinical trial data, the companies said. The system will combine the information gleaned from these resources with an individual's lifestyle and wellness-related biomarker data, and make personalized recommendations to help the user and the person's physician make decisions about healthier living.

For example, a consumer could ask Pathway Panorama how much exercise they need or how much coffee to drink, and the app would provide answers based on healthcare-related, evidence-based data and on the individual's biomarkers, vital signs collected from wearable devices, DNA, electronic health records, and other information, Pathway Genomics said.

"By tapping into IBM Watson's cognitive computing capabilities, Pathway Genomics is allowing consumers to ask health-related questions in their own words and receive personalized and relevant responses," Stephen Gold, vice president of IBM Watson Group, said in a statement. "Cognitive computing solutions based on Watson's transformative technology will help define how consumers and businesses, alike, make better informed lifestyle decisions, enabling better outcomes."

With this round of capital, IBM Watson Group becomes a minority investor in Pathway Genomics. In total, Pathway Genomics has raised more than $80 million from its investors in the last six years. Specifically, it has received funds from Western Technology Investments, FoundersFund, Edelson Technology Partners, and Oxford Bioscience.