Bill Rapp, chief technology officer of healthcare and life sciences for IBM, said IBM and Mayo hope to use the same approach for other radiology detection tests such as the diagnosis of cancer or vessel anomalies in other parts of the body.
As IBM's aggressive expansion of its business and predictive analytics tools and capabilities has been going on for the past few years, the discussion of the value generated by such software has been largely focused on business results: carrying less inventory, predicting which customers might be ready to switch suppliers, improving logistics, and much more.
But IBM's recent push into its Smarter Planet initiatives have brought the power of predictive analytics to bear on a much wider range of processes and operations. And in terms of very personal value, it's hard to imagine an application with more intrinsic worth than predicting brain aneurysms and allowing them to be treated.
The Journal article highlighted the IBM-Mayo breakthrough as an outgrowth of their longtime collaboration, and that model could be viewed by other IBM customers as a way to think about how they themselves can extend their current IT initiatives into the field of predictive analytics to allow for better, faster decisions.
"Their partnership began in 2001, when IBM helped Mayo organize their data," the article said. "It later evolved into work with genomic information and categorizing patients through those characteristics, which then led to using high-performance computing to process that data quicker.
"That led to the work the companies are doing today with medical imaging and the use of high-performance computing. IBM said it hopes to take technological advances that are being seen with Mayo and offer them to other hospitals by using cloud computing."