IBM Watson for Oncology

IBM Watson for Oncology supports medical specialists and patients with choosing the most appropriate treatment. The system provides doctors with personalised treatment advice based on the latest medical insights, including underlying evidence.

How does it work?

IBM Watson for Oncology has a collection of all the available field literature and guidelines. The super computer can read and understand text. After entering specific personal data, the doctor is quickly provided with the relevant information, which is optimised for a specific patient. In this way, Watson can support the specialist in deciding on a treatment with the patient. Follow the development and availability of Watson for Oncology via this website or via Twitter and LinkedIn.

For which pathologies is Watson available?

Watson is able to provide recommendations for breast cancer, colon cancer, and lung cancer.

We are making it better

Watson for Oncology was developed for the USA based on American medical guidelines. Healthcare operates differently in the Netherlands. For this reason, the system must be adjusted, so that treatment recommendations are optimised for Dutch healthcare practice. Additionally, patient data cannot be sent to the United States. For this reason, Brightingale is working on a localised version which will be suitable for the Dutch health care practice.

Do you want to know more?

We are happy to answer any questions you may have. Please contact us.


  • How does Watson for Oncology support me as a patient?

    You have received your diagnosis and now have to decide on treatment. Luckily, we are progressively learning more about which treatments work for specific people in certain situations. But what treatment is best for you? There is a lot of information and scientific research available, but how do you hone in on the information that is relevant for you? Watson is here to help you.

    Watson can be considered as a “second opinion” from a super computer with access to the latest medical information. This will give you insight into the effects of various treatments for your specific situation and can prevent you from receiving too much or too little treatment. Of course, Watson advice is ultimately a reference as the final decision is still up to you and your doctor.

  • How does Watson for Oncology support me as a healthcare professional?

    It is a substantial challenge to stay abreast of all the developments in medicine and to apply them quickly. Watson has a collection of all the available field literature, trial data, and guidelines at its disposal and can quickly make the relevant information available to you. In this way, Watson can support you in making a personalised treatment recommendation that includes reliability, scheduling, and underlying evidence.
    As much data as possible will be loaded into IBM Watson for Oncology from your EPD. Depending on the case, Watson may ask additional questions for each patient. Next, you ask Watson for advice and, after several seconds, you will receive various treatment options. This allows you to determine the best possible treatment together with your patient. During the treatment period, you can continue asking Watson for advice.

The different applications of Watson for Oncology