The Geneva University Hospitals Use IBM Watson for Genomics to Help Them Deliver Personalized Oncology Care


The Geneva University Hospitals(HUG) – a leading Swiss healthcare provider announced that HUG has become the first European university hospital to use the IBM Watson Health’s precision oncology offering, Watson for Genomics®, an artificial intelligence (AI) tool that enables oncologists to provide patients with more personalized, evidence-based cancer care.

Using information extracted from peer-reviewed articles and validated by experts, Watson for Genomics® produces a report for physicians classifying genetic alterations in a patient’s tumor and providing associated therapies and clinical trials for the actionable ones. By implementing this tool, physicians at HUG are able to more quickly categorize massive bodies of genomic data for various cancer types and scale precision oncology for their patients.

“As the first European hospital to adopt Watson for Genomics® we will further help our physicians provide more personalized cancer care and streamline variability for genomic reporting, which we believe may improve outcomes for our patients,” said Rodolphe Meyer M.D., Deputy Chief Information Officer, HUG. “We remain very committed to the fight against cancer, including utilizing the best technological advances in medicine, such as AI, and participating in ongoing, quality academic research.

With 18 million diagnoses each year, cancer has a heavy human toll, as well as a high health system cost. Patients can face exhausting, lengthy and confusing treatment regimens, while oncologists are responsible for staying up to date on an ever-growing body of medical literature and genomic data to identify the best care plan for each individual patient.

“We are pleased to partner with Geneva University Hospitals, and we are pleased to work with HUG to help their physicians focus on what matters most – their patients – and help them makemoreinformed decisions that aid in their treatment and care,” says Nathan Levitan, M.D., Chief Medical Officer Oncology & Genomics, IBM Watson Health. “This technology provides clinicians the ability to find actionable genomic insights that manual interpretation may miss while also saving clinician time– completing classification of gene and RNA-sequencing results in ten minutes compared to what would take 160 hours manually.”

The news was released at the Intelligent Health conference in Basel, Switzerland, the world’s leading AI in medicine summit that connects global leaders at the forefront of health innovation.

About HUG
The University Hospitals of Geneva (HUG) brings together eight public hospitals and two clinics. Their mission is to provide treatment to the community in all medical disciplines, to help train doctors and health professionals and to carry out medical and nursing research. The HUG is Switzerland’s leading center for influenza and emerging viral infections, as well as for childhood liver disease and pediatric liver transplantation. It is a WHO collaborating center in seven fields. In 2018, with its 11,730 employees, the hospitals welcomed 63,913 hospitalized patients and handled 125,417 emergencies, over a million outpatient consultations, 27,790 surgeries and 4,213 births. 977 internal doctors and clinic leaders, 2,186 interns and 217 apprentices are currently training at the HUG The HUG collaborates closely with the University of Geneva’s Faculty of Medicine, the WHO, Lausanne University Hospital, the EPFL research institute, the CERN and other key players in Lake Geneva’s Health Valley, on various training and research projects. The HUG’s annual budget is 1.94 billion francs.