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Apple partners with IBM in using Big Blue's Watson supercomputer

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April 14, 2015

Apple said earlier today it has partnered with IBM to use Big Blue’s Watson supercomputer to crunch data obtained from Apple's newly available iWatches. IBM's new initiative is called "Watson-as-a-Cloud".

The decision is part of IBM’s unveiling of its Watson Health Cloud, intended to provide a platform for various health researchers to better aggregate data collected from iOS users who opt-in to contribute their personal medical data.

Big Blue says the growth of personal fitness trackers and connected medical devices means the average person will generate more than one million gigabytes of health-related data in their lifetime.

"We need improved methods to tap into and analyse all of this information in real-time to benefit patients and to improve human overall health globally," said John Kelly, IBM senior vice president.

IBM and Apple will expand their partnership to provide "a secure cloud platform and data analytics for Apple's HealthKit and Research Kit," it added.

An estimated one million consumers have already pre-ordered the coveted watches from Apple.

The agreement with Apple is not exclusive, however. IBM also announced plans to partner with Johnson & Johnson and Medtronic to "help optimize consumer and medical devices for data collection, analysis and feedback".

The move is part of its latest efforts to "rebrand" its traditional hardware and software business after posting eleven consecutive quarters of declining sales.

In March, Big Blue announced new plans to spend $3 billion until 2019 on a new Internet of Things (IoT) business unit.

IBM has already set aside $100 million for new investments in cognitive app startups, part of the $1 billion it is investing in the "Watson-as-a-Cloud" unit.

Source: IBM.

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