A Queensland-based cancer care provider will use IBM's Watson to better treat patients

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Queensland-based Icon Group, a cancer care provider, will soon be using IBM’s Watson for Oncology in Australia — the first health provider in the country to do so.

Using the cognitive computing platform, oncologists within Icon Group’s Australian network will have access to the leading and most recent global research across seven different cancer types: breast, lung, colorectal, gastric, cervical, prostate and ovarian cancer.

The Watson system is designed to support clinical decision-making by enabling oncologists to access evidence-based, personalised treatment options.

With around 50,000 oncology research papers published each year, IBM’s platform helps doctors to keep up with the vast amount of research.

“The Icon Group and IBM Watson Health partnership complements our growing portfolio of digital health services, and will help our physicians understand the subtleties of each patient’s illness by combining their expertise with the increasing amounts of oncology literature available globally,” Cathie Reid, co-founder and digital advisor for Icon Group said.

“Investment in this technology will allow us to further support our oncology clinicians across Australia in their treatment decisions – based on the most current, credible information available – regardless of where they’re geographically based.”

Mark Middleton, Icon Group’s CEO also said: “Watson for Oncology will play a valuable role in helping regional and remote patients have access to high quality cancer care regardless of their geographic location.”

Icon Group joins more than 48 health organisations across the world which also use IBM Watson for Oncology.

Following roll-out in Australia, Icon Group has plans to launch the Watson product across its South-East Asia network.

Since launching in 2015 Icon Group has become one of the top 10 healthcare companies in Australia and the only leading national healthcare company based in Brisbane. It has also expanded globally into Singapore, China and New Zealand.

Earlier this month, a consortium of Goldman Sachs Principal Investment Area, QIC and Pagoda Investments signed an agreement to acquire a majority interest in Icon Group. The acquisition is subject to shareholder approval.

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