IBM Expands Watson Technology To Look for Drugs

December 8th, 2011

The latest entry is being announced on Thursday, I.B.M.’s Strategic Intellectual Property Insight Platform. Clearly, the Watson branding team didn’t work on this name.

But then again, this isn’t for television, where Watson performed. It is for major corporate customers, seeking competitive advantage. The technology, sold as a cloud-based service, is the result of several years of joint development between IBM Research and four companies — AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb, DuPont and Pfizer.

The insight platform uses data mining, natural-language processing and analytics to pore through millions of patent filings and biomedical journals to look for chemical compounds used in drug discovery. It searches for the names of compounds, related words, drawings of the compounds, the names of companies working with specific chemicals and molecules, and the names of scientists who created the patented inventions. It does its work quickly, retrieving information in patents in as little as 24 hours after a filing.

Very cool. It’s good to know that the data is now in the public domain. I can definitely see something like this working for the law.