ROME, Feb. 27, 2020
Ospedale Pediatrico Bambino Gesù and IBM will bring together their world-class medical knowledge and cutting-edge technology to accelerate the diagnosis and treatment of pediatric patients with serious conditions. The partners will aim to develop a database capable of integrating with AI technology anonymized genomic, clinical, laboratory and imaging information.
ROME, Feb. 27, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Ospedale Pediatrico Bambino Gesù (OPBG), the largest children's hospital and research center in Europe, and IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced a strategic multi-phase partnership for research and innovation designed to improve pediatrics research and translate it into care faster.
Using precision medicine and innovative therapies, OPBG cares for children and adolescents from all over the world. The hospital's mission is to act as a highly specialized third level clinic and research center, providing pro bono care assistance to children wherever they come from. OPBG works not only in Italy, but also in many developing countries, including Central African Republic, Tanzania and Ethiopia.
State-of-the-art pediatric care is producing an ever-increasing amount and complexity of data including advanced imaging, -omics, real-time monitoring and real-world evidence. Technologies such as AI and Cloud can support the collection and analysis of such data. These advanced technologies can provide insights to clinicians to help them design research protocols to improve diagnosis, prognosis, and better therapies.
"The frontiers of Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital include the development of scientific research and technology," says Mariella Enoc, President of the Hospital. "There is no cure without research and there is no future without research. For this reason, the integration of skills between the two innovation leading Companies in pediatric research and information technology represents an added value to achieve the objectives of this collaboration and overcome the challenges posed every day by medical science, for the benefit of patients and their families."
"Few challenges could be more important to society than putting artificial intelligence (AI) technology to work in ways that could benefit children most in need of help," said IBM Executive Vice President Dr. John E. Kelly III. "IBM is humbled by this opportunity to partner with Bambino Gesu, and to help accelerate the process of unlocking potentially breakthrough treatments for rare childhood diseases."
OPBG and IBM's partnership will focus on Pediatric Brain Cancer (PBC), with the aim of developing algorithms to accelerate the diagnosis, and treatment of medulloblastoma patients. Medulloblastoma is the most common issue faced by PBC doctors, accounting for 15-20% of all pediatric brain tumors. The early identification of an individual's subgroup can significantly influence the selection of the most appropriate treatment course, ultimately helping improve outcomes.
OPBG and IBM will also co-operate in the area of Rare Diseases (RD). While rare individually, these diseases collectively affect 6-8% of the total European Union population, and more than two thirds of these disorders affect children. IBM will support OPBG setting up a database of fully anonymized data – including genomic, clinical, laboratory and imaging information – and develop algorithms that use AI technology to improve the diagnostic yield and accelerate diagnosis of patients affected by rare diseases, and to identify novel disease genes and characterize previously unrecognized disorders.
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