Health Quest Systems has signed an agreement to deploy IBM Watson for Clinical Trial Matching, a cognitive computing system, to increase participation in clinical trials.

As part of the agreement, throughout its hospitals Health Quest will leverage the cognitive computing system that matches patients to clinical trials for which they may be eligible.

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With the use of IBM Watson for Clinical Trial Matching, Health Quest will further expand its use of artificial intelligence (AI) within its system.

Health Quest chief medical operations officer Dr Glenn Loomis said: “Health Quest is committed to becoming a leader in the application of AI and other advanced technology to improve patient care and provider performance.

“Watson for Clinical Trial Matching allows us to improve patient access to advanced clinical trials by removing the drudgery of manually searching through charts to quickly match patients with the best clinical trial(s) for their condition.”

Using IBM Watson for Clinical Trial Matching, clinicians and coordinators will be able to identify trials and potentially eligible patients quickly and easily.

This helps healthcare providers and patients to consider appropriate trials as part of a care plan.

As the system eliminates the need to manually compare enrollment criteria with patient medical data, an individual’s potential trial options can be identified to provide access to novel cancer care treatments.

IBM Watson Health vice-president and chief health officer Kyu Rhee said: “While clinical trials offer patients access to promising new and emerging treatments, only 5% of adult patients with cancers participate in clinical trials.

“By integrating IBM Watson for Clinical Trial Matching, Health Quest aims to boost clinical trial enrollment and, by providing access to new, cutting-edge treatments, the health system can play a key role in advancing the science of oncology care.”