Cooperation between BAHEAL Intelligent Technology and IBM Moves Forward Again with Contract on Watson for Oncology Extended to Eight Years
During the NPC and CPPCC sessions, the application of artificial intelligence (AI) in the medical field remained a hot issue drawing much attention. BAHEAL Intelligent Technology (BIT) of BAHEAL Pharmaceutical Group (BPG) announced jointly with IBM recently that the two parties agreed to extend the term of strategic cooperation agreement on the exclusive right as general agent and distributor of Watson for Oncology (herein the “WfO”), which took effect as of March 28, 2017, from three years to eight years. The two parties will also fully integrate superior resources and establish a comprehensive and deep strategic partnership to make solid contribution to the development of intelligent medical in China.
During the NPC and CPPCC sessions this year, Premier LI Keqiang clearly put forward in the Report on the Work of the Government that it is imperative to make big and strong emerging industrial clusters, enforce actions for the development of big data, improve R&D and application of a new generation of AI and push forward “Internet +” in medicine, among other fields. At the communication conference with media, WANG Biquan, BIT CMO, shared the progress since June 2017 when technical alignment with IBM Watson Health was formally completed.
“By now WfO covers 65 hospitals and medical institutions in 39 cities of 22 provinces in China. As a reference tool in oncological treatment, WfO can comprehensively improve standard treatment of tumors in community-level Chinese hospitals and provide a highly efficient and intelligent tool in clinical teaching and young doctor training at first- and second-tier hospitals, improve the patients’ quality of life by means of AI,” said WANG Biquan, CMO of BIT.
Global business has been increasing since WfO’s commercialization in July 2015. Now WfO covers over 150 hospitals from five continents and, by January 2018, it has served more than 45,000 patients in total.
“For IBM, the importance of the Chinese market is evident but we need an extraordinarily good partner for this complex market. And we finally find out that BAHEAL, with a rich body of experience and an industrial background, is the best partner for IBM Watson Health to work together on the Chinese market. We are proud of what BIT has achieved in the past year. Hundreds of doctors and over 10,000 patients in China are using WfO, which makes us more certain that BAHEAL is an extremely important and indispensable partner of ours. In the future, we will cooperate closer with BAHEAL for a common effort to improve the change cognitive technology has been bringing to medical industry and improve the quality of life among Chinese patients,” said Lisa Rometty, General Manager of Oncology, Life Sciences, Personal Health at IBM Watson Health.
“We are pleased to be able to cooperate further with IBM and extend the contract on WfO to eight years. We are filled with confidence in the development of AI in China. Watson is the only application-level AI in the medical domain across the world and it is able to evolve to be more intelligent. During the cooperation with Watson Health, BAHEAL will also develop a full understanding of the application of AI in the medical field of China and work with IBM in designing and developing products more suitable to the local needs in China. Additionally, BAHEAL has established BsmartD, a smart doctor cloud platform that includes state-of-the-art products of the world’s top medical AI. As the only application-level AI solution fully integrating top expert training in the world, DsmartD has not only oncological decision support system but also intelligent imaging diagnosis and radiotherapies, and it will provide more effective therapeutic services for patients in our country,” said BPG Chairman FU Gang.
In the contest of mobile Internet, AI will bring unprecedented changes to medical science with the promotion of state policies. The future of the development of BIT and Watson Health in the medical industry has attracted a lot of attention. It is known that IBM will also introduce an upgrade of WfO by June 2018, which will be more applicable to the Chinese market.