IBM is building a startup ecosystem around Watson, the computer that is learning how to process information like the human brain. According to technology research firm Gartner, Inc., smart machines will be one of the most disruptive changes ever brought about by information technology.
IBM is partnering with healthcare, finance, and other companies to build applications that use Watson’s abilities to improve processes and solve problems.
GenieMD from Pleasonton, California has used Watson as part of its application to send notifications based around their individual health needs. The application uses quantified health data from the individual to ask Watson questions and notify patients of potential health matters like low blood sugar. Welltok from Denver, Colorado is working in the same vein to provide a personal healthcare concierge application to users.
@Point of Care from Livingston, New Jersey is using Watson to help physicians support patients with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). The physician-facing mobile app is helping the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America enable MS patients to better track and manage their symptoms easily from any device.
SparkCognition from Dallas, Texas has created a Cognitive Security Insights (CSI) app with Watson to process data to deliver advanced cyber threat defense.
Other applications in the ecosystem focus on retail, and information technology.
In January, 2014, IBM launched the IBM Watson Group, a new business unit dedicated to developing and commercializing cloud-delivered cognitive advisors. IBM is investing more than $1 billion in the Watson Group, focusing on research, development and bringing cloud-delivered cognitive applications and services to market. This includes $100 million earmarked for direct investment to support IBM’s ecosystem of start-ups and businesses building cognitive apps made with Watson.