AI Hot in Healthcare Despite IBM’s Watson Health Pullout

Earlier this week, the tech giant IBM sold off chunks of its once-promising artificial intelligence (AI)-guided division Watson Health. Despite this setback, European firms see a bright future for the use of AI in healthcare.

The tech giant IBM hit the headlines this week when it sold off parts of Watson Health — a division of IBM that offers cloud-based access to its supercomputer to analyze healthcare data using artificial intelligence (AI). The decision followed struggles to make Watson Health profitable and indicates a retreat by IBM from the healthcare space. 

IBM launched Watson Health in 2015 with the promise to revolutionize healthcare and personalized medicine by feeding reams of patient data to its AI algorithm. Over time, Watson Health’s AI offering has progressed steadily, but has had limitations. For example, a meta-analysis last year found that IBM’s Watson for Oncology software was good at predicting the cancer treatments professionals would prescribe for patients, but was less accurate for advanced cancers.

We think it was possibly too big a promise at that time,” said Tero Silvola,