Watson Isn't Elementary Anymore: Innovators Debut Computing Intelligence-Powered Apps

Technology entrepreneurs wake up every morning with the goal of creating innovations that can change the world. IBM recently announced that some innovators are making their visions a reality by creating apps that are fueled by Watson's cognitive computing intelligence.

The IBM Watson Group is unveiling three new partners who are building "Made with Watson" apps, from helping investors make accurate, on-the-go decisions based on market insights uncovered from trade floors full of data, to aiding a dermatologist seek out the most effective skin cancer treatment option, to alerting retailers when it's the right time to push their display of game-time snacks to the front of the store to help increase sales.

Following the IBM Watson Group's April investment in Fluid Inc., a startup that builds online shopping experiences for retailers, today's announcement is yet another step in IBM's move towards delivering innovative applications powered by Watson for consumers and businesses.

"The power of Watson is a game-changing proposition. Since we established a Watson developer ecosystem, we've seen the creativity flow from entrepreneurs around the world with business-changing ideas for the Watson technology," said Michael Rhodin, senior vice president, IBM Watson Group. "Imagine a new class of apps that deliver deep insights to consumers and business users instantly -- wherever they are -- over the cloud.  Today, with the help of starts up, partners and students, that vision is quickly becoming a reality."

Leveraging IBM Watson technology via the cloud, three partners have developed early versions of Watson-powered apps, targeted to enter the market later this year. 

Modernizing Medicine. One in five Americans will develop skin cancer – a scary statistic that will impact a friend or a loved one in our lifetime. Today, One out of four dermatologists in the nation are using Modernizing Medicine's Electronic Medical Assistant® (EMA™) iPad application to improve patient interaction and healthcare outcomes. The company is enhancing EMA by developing schEMA™, a powered by IBM Watson app designed to help doctors by answering medical questions at the point of care.

Utilizing cognitive computing and natural language processing, schEMA comprehends published healthcare information, such as peer-reviewed medical journals, to enable physicians to ask questions about conditions, treatments and outcomes and get back answers in seconds.

The goal is to strengthen physician's recommendations and enable them to efficiently practice evidence-based medicine. The company also provides EMA for the specialties of ophthalmology, plastic surgery, orthopedics and otolaryngology and is expanding into gastroenterology, urology and rheumatology.

Reflexis Systems, Inc. Even the world's best retailers struggle to bring their strategy to life in their stores and account for the nuances of local markets. It's game day in your hometown and everyone is wearing your team colors to show their spirit. But how will undetected drivers such as time and day of game, visiting team's record, weather, opposition fans' propensity to travel, overlapping events, and other factors impact demand at local stores?   What kind of uptick in traffic are they seeing from customers in preparation for the big game? What are the items they will buy more of and at what times?

That's just one example of how Reflexis is working with IBM Watson to enable retailers to uncover hidden demand triggers to deliver the best customer experience and prevent out of stocks.  Reflexis StorePulse™ takes insights from IBM Watson and provides prioritized alerts and tasks with best practice actions to corporate, regional and store managers - based on local event, social media, and other trends and events that impact demand - to accurately plan each and every store accordingly every day. Reflexis StorePulse™ will enable retailers to provide a seamless and satisfying omni-channel shopping experience  – boosting customer engagement and leading to greater profit.

Modulus.  Financial information is growing at over 70% per year and over 80% of most investors' time is spent finding and validating data. As data volumes grow, extracting the insights you need is rapidly becoming impossible. This provider of advanced financial technology products and services for professional traders, brokerages and trading firms, as well as educational, governmental and non-profit institutions, is developing the SharpeMind cognitive application to deliver on-demand information about assets. SharpeMind leverages Watson technology to discover real-time insights from massive amounts of unstructured data including news feeds, governmental reports, and social media data. It extracts a consensus of buy and sell recommendations and provides trading signals to retail traders and fund managers across desktop and mobile platforms, enabling investors to make more informed investment decisions anywhere, anytime, on any device.

IBM's news reinforces the company's strategy to fuel an ecosystem of innovators who will help make cognitive computing the new standard of computing. In November 2013, IBM announced Watson as an application development platform in the Cloud.   Today, nearly 2,000 individuals and organizations – ranging from start-ups and VC-backed companies to established players -- have contacted IBM to share ideas for building cognitive applications that redefine how businesses and consumers make decisions. IBM also recently announced its intention to open Watson to corporate developers, to advance a new generation of apps infused with Watson's cognitive computing intelligence.

Organizations that are interested in collaborating with IBM to develop Watson-powered applications can visit http://www.ibm.com/innovation/us/watson/watson_ecosystem.shtml to learn more.

IBM Watson: pioneering a new era of computing
Three years after its victory on the TV quiz show Jeopardy!, IBM Watson has evolved to represent a new era of computing, earning recognitions from Frost & Sullivan, which presented IBM Watson with the 2013 North America Award for New Product Innovation, and Gartner Inc., which cites IBM Watson in its Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2014 and predicts that by 2017, 10 percent of computers will be able to learn as Watson does.

Today, Watson is no longer just the world's most famous game-playing computer. IBM has put Watson to work in various industries. In healthcare, IBM is co-developing an application with Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, and partnering with WellPoint, the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, and the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine.  Additionally, IBM has partnered with numerous colleges and universities across the country to teach Watson capabilities and cognitive computing technology to the next generation workforce.  In 2013, IBM announced the introduction of the IBM Watson Engagement Advisor, the first Watson offering designed to improve customer experience, putting the power of Watson within reach of everyone.

IBM's mission to spark a new generation of Watson-powered apps is just the latest milestone in developing cognitive system offerings that help its clients and partners succeed.
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