Evidence-based cancer care now available pan-India for Manipal and non-Manipal patients

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Bengaluru, KARNATAKA, India - 29 Jul 2016: Manipal Hospitals today announced IBM Watson for Oncology, a cognitive computing platform, is now in use by oncologists at six locations in the Manipal Hospitals network to provide information and insights to physicians to help them identify personalized, evidence-based cancer care options across India. Manipal oncologists can access IBM Watson for Oncology for patients with breast, colorectal and lung cancer that are registered with a Manipal facility pan-India including: Goa covering West India, Jaipur covering North, Vijayawada covering East, South and rest of the country covered by the three Manipal hospitals in Bangalore.

Manipal Hospitals further announced the introduction of an expert second opinion cancer care consulting service. Individuals across India who have received a cancer diagnosis but are not a Manipal patient can access a Manipal oncologist for an expert second opinion tele-consult within 72hours by logging onto the Manipal online consult portal and/or by sending an SMS with the subject line ‘WATSON’ to #56363, from the 5th of August 2016.

Watson for Oncology, a cognitive computing platform trained by Memorial Sloan-Kettering, analyses data to provide information and insights regarding evidence-based treatment options, to help oncologists provide cancer patients with individualized healthcare. On December 2015, Manipal Hospitals announced its intent to adopt Watson for Oncology, making this the first deployment of Watson in India and the first engagement of its kind as the country advances its efforts to transform healthcare. 

“The introduction of Watson for Oncology will be a game changer for cancer patients across the country. With Watson, Manipal oncologists can make an informed treatment decisions for patients based on insights derived from the individuals’ unique health status, the latest medical research and other relevant data,” said Dr. Ajay Bakshi, MD & CEO, Manipal Hospitals. “With the launch of the Manipal expert opinion service, we are also open to partnering with other hospitals and medical consultants who seek to benefit from Watson for Oncology or individuals who have received a cancer diagnosis and wish to seek the advice of a Manipal doctor.”

Rob Merkel, Vice President, Oncology and Genomics for IBM Watson Health commented,“IBMs intent is for Watson to become an essential tool for oncologists in India -- providing doctors with clinically relevant and actionable insights to help inform the doctors’ decisions. In doing so, there is the potential for Manipal to raise the level of cancer care throughout the country. We are honored to be a part of this major transformation.”  

Oncologists in India and across the globe are struggling to keep up with the large volume of research, medical records and clinical trials. Further, doctors face an increasing battle to stay up to date about best practices in treatment and care management. 

Watson scales vital knowledge and provides insights and information to help oncologists as they consider treatment options for their patients. Using natural language, clinicians using Watson for Oncology will be able to have information to allow them to explore treatment options, and gather evidence specific to a patients’ individual health needs. Watson ranks identified treatment options and provides links to supporting evidence for each option to help oncologists as they consider treatment options for their patient. Watson for Oncology draws from an impressive corpus of information, and, to date, more than 300 medical journals, more than 200 textbooks, and nearly 15 million pages of text. Watson for Oncology also supplies for consideration supporting evidence in the form of administration information, as well as information regarding the different drug options. Watson’s machine learning capability means it is continuously learning over time, and doctors have access to peer reviewed studies, clinical guidelines and expert perspectives. 

About Manipal Hospitals:
For more information on Manipal Hospitals, please visit:

Manipal Comprehensive Cancer Centre
Manipal Comprehensive Cancer Centre (MCCC) is one of select few centres in the country that provides all types of diagnostic facilities and multi-disciplinary approach in the management of various forms of cancers at all stages involving medical, surgical and radiation therapy. It is a fully equipped state-of-the-art one-stop solution, which provides comprehensive cancer care. Besides conventional cancer treatments like chemotherapy, radiotherapy and hormone therapy, the department of oncology also excels in the newer fields of nuclear medicine and stem cell transplants. The bone marrow transplant unit in particular is tied up with University of Minnesota to ensure international standards are delivered. Manipal is also one of the very few centres that do haploidentical transplants for certain diseases. The centre is also equipped with Robotic Assisted Surgery that greatly enhances surgical cancer treatment outcomes. 

About IBM Watson Health
Watson is the first commercially available cognitive computing capability representing a new era in computing. The system, delivered through the cloud, analyzes high volumes of data, understands complex questions posed in natural language, and proposes evidence-based answers. Watson continuously learns, gaining in value and knowledge over time, from previous interactions. In April 2015, the company launched IBM Watson Health and the Watson Health Cloud platform. The new unit will work with doctors, researchers and insurers to help them innovate by surfacing insights from the massive amount of personal health data being created and shared daily. The Watson Health Cloud can mask patient identities and allow for information to be shared and combined with a dynamic and constantly growing aggregated view of clinical, research and social health data. For more information on IBM Watson, visit: For more information on IBM Watson Health, visit: Check out the IBM Watson press kit at: Join the conversation at #ibmwatson and #watsonhealth. Follow Watson on Facebook and see Watson on YouTube and Flickr.

About IBM India:

For more information on IBM India, please visit

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