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Could 'big data' help improve epilepsy care?

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    The world is moving to an era of 'big data'. Huge volumes of information are created every day in finance, transportation, social media and healthcare. Powerful and highly-sophisticated technology is required to translate all of this data into actionable insights.

    At UCB we have always been committed to innovation and collaboration in pursuit of optimal care for people living with severe diseases, so the question for us is how we can tap into the potential of cognitive computing for the benefit of patients.

    That is why we have teamed up with IBM on a project that will explore the use of cognitive computing to potentially help healthcare providers to deliver more highly personalized care for people with epilepsy. It represents the first step towards eventually harnessing the transformative power of cognitive computing capabilities, such as IBM Watson, for epilepsy care.

    So what could this collaboration mean for patients? Today, epilepsy care is often guided by a combination of non-personalized clinical guidelines and the individual experience of the patient’s physician.

    We are working with IBM to prove the concept that an interactive system can be developed that would translate massive amounts of anonymised patient data and scientific insights that healthcare providers can consult at the point of care to inform their treatment decisions. A team of IBM scientists is analyzing anonymous, aggregated data on more than 1.5 million epilepsy patients in the U.S. using machine learning tools and patient similarity analysis.

    We believe that deeper insight into the epilepsy patient population could potentially provide millions of patients with more personalized care and ultimately improved outcomes.

    A lot of work lies ahead but, together with IBM, we are writing the opening chapter to a very exciting story with the potential to raise the standard of care for people living with epilepsy.
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