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IBM Sells Part of Watson Health

IBM is selling part of its Watson Health business to Francisco Partners, an investment firm, according to the Wall Street Journal.

IBM launched Watson Health in 2015 to bundle patient information into a database to help guide personalized healthcare. It then offered a service to identify cancer treatments or clinical trials based on patient data, literature review, and expert review.

But Stat News reported a few years later that the Watson for Oncology program was underwhelming and sometimes provided inappropriate advice. That issue was traced to the training the program received that may have led it to rely more on physicians' preferences than on the data.

According to Bloomberg, this sale, which encompasses datasets and imaging software for more than $1 billion, represents a "scaling back the technology company's once-lofty ambitions in healthcare." It adds that IBM plans to focus more on cloud computing, even as its rivals in that space continue with their healthcare ventures.

The Scan

Call for a Different Tack

Experts weigh the value of recent experiments testing genetically modified pig kidneys using brain-dead individuals, according to Nature News.

Wastewater Warning

The New York Times reports that wastewater surveillance in some parts of the US point to a possible surge.

Can't Get in the Program

Due to the Northern Ireland protocol dispute, the European Union is preventing UK researchers from joining the Horizon Europe research program, the Times of London reports.

Science Paper on Spatial-Controlled Genome Editing

In Science this week: approach to enable a CRISPR-Cas13a-based system to be used as a cancer therapy.