Cognitive Cooking with Chef Watson for Diabetes

March 25, 2016 § Leave a comment

By Russell Hargraves, Karolyn A. Schalk, Sumit Patel, Matthew Grosso and Joseph D. Mostowy

With the Global Diabetes Care Market estimated to reach $122 Billion by 2022, Cognitive computing, Cloud technologies and the Internet of Things (IoT) are poised to enable the Diabetic patient population to achieve a better quality of life and outcomes by delivering personalized nutritional information.

As a society we are facing significant health problems. The United States ranks ninth in life expectancy among nations in the developed world. We have a workforce plagued with absenteeism and reduced productivity because of chronic health problems. 78 percent of healthcare expenditures are for the treatment of chronic diseases. ( Our diets are a key contributing factor in these issues, in part do to a lack of focus and balance of nutrients. Cognitive computing, Cloud technologies and the Internet of Things (IoT) are beginning to influence our daily lives, diets, health and wellness. With the emergence of Cognitive personalized services entering the global marketplace like (Diet-as-a-Service) these programs are beginning to enable, educate, and empower employees, patients, customers, family, and individuals to achieve a sustainable optimized diet based on the individuals person health profile, wellness goals and genetic makeup. Today, there are many medical conditions which require patients to be on special diets. With more than 29 million people in the United States having diabetes, one in four people with diabetes doesn’t know he or she has it. Another 86 million adults – more than one in three U.S. adults – have prediabetes. Presenting an opportunity for the emerging cognitive culture to embrace Cognitive Health and Wellness services delivering personalized nutritional information for Diabetics and other chronic diseases. In many cases, not following a diet prescribed for a medical condition can lead to a severe health crisis. Cognitive enabled Health and Wellness services can offer everyone personalized nutritional recommendations based on their health history, personal goals and genetics. These services provide evidence-based diet information and advise so people can improve their overall eating patterns including the complete combination of foods and drinks in their new Cognitive Life diet. We have tremendous opportunity as a culture to help everyone globally live a better life.

Today, IBM Chef Watson with Bon Appetit is currently pioneering a new era of cooking that helps Chefs discover and create original, totally unique recipes with help of flavor compound algorithms. The opportunity to align this work with the dietary needs of patients and health conscious consumers worldwide presents some exciting possibilities. (

cognitive build

With “Diabetes affecting 382 million people worldwide, and that number expected to grow to 592 million by 2035 – we have a tremendous challenge and opportunity in front of us as a culture. (

With Cognitive computing, Cloud technologies and the Internet of Things (IoT) our generation has a unique opportunity to improve healthcare outcomes and global quality of life for patients and consumers worldwide.

OUTTHINK: Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas

January 13, 2016 § Leave a comment


Happy 2016! We started off the year with several exciting cognitive announcements at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Based on these, it’s going to be an exciting year as we move forward with becoming a cognitive solutions and cloud platform company. Our continuing efforts to build out the global cloud platform offering customers the most flexibility, scalability and reliability for their Public, Private, Hybrid and Hybrid IT needs is impressive. The cognitive solutions unveiled at CES provide a glimpse into the future of health and fitness, precision medicine, prevention & safety awareness, connected appliances, and finally the vast potential for cognitively powered emotional android’s to provide a variety of personalized services. I have included some of the highlights for your review:


Pathway Genomics and IBM today unveiled at the Digital Health Summit at CES 2016 the closed-alpha release of Pathway Genomics OME™ app, powered by Watson. The Pathway Genomics OME app merges cognitive computing and deep learning with precision medicine and genetics to enable Pathway Genomics to provide consumers with personalized wellness information. This alpha version of the app incorporates information from Pathway’s “FIT” Test — a wellness-based diet, exercise, and metabolism report compiled with information from the users unique genetic traits, as well as their health habits, data from GPS and wearable health monitors in addition to information from the users Apple HealthKit. Future versions of Pathway’s OME will enable users to opt-in to include electronic health records, insurance information, and additional datasets that will enable OME to provide precise and actionable wellness recommendations.


IBM and Under Armour are teaming up to show data from IBM Watson in Under Armour’s core health and fitness app, UA Record. At first this might sound like your standard “partnership” or collaboration to beef up content within an app, but Watson’s entrance into fitness — and its marriage of fitness data with other data — is significant. Under Armour’s new UA Record app combined with a Cognitive Coaching System applies machine learning to digital health and fitness. A future version of the UA Record app powered by IBM Watson could be the first system to assess and combine a variety of factors that affect health and fitness programs, including: personal, physiological and behavioral data, nutrition, expert training knowledge, and environmental factors. These insights will initially be available within UA Record available now on the App Store.


Medtronic and IBM unveiled a research prototype concept for a first-of-its-kind cognitive app that can help to detect critical patterns and trends for people with diabetes to making daily management of diabetes simpler. In other words the reams of data collected by Medtronic’s wearable devices – the insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitors – will be put to work by Watson’s data analytics that can crunch innumerable data points to glean important insignts.


Softbank Robotics and IBM announced plans to take their partnership on a Watson-powered robot global. Through their joint work, Softbank has infused Watson into their “empathetic” robot Pepper, enabling it to understand and answer questions in real time, opening up new possibilities for the use of robotics in business scenarios such as banking, retail and hospitality.


Whirlpool and IBM Collaborate on Cognitive Solutions for Connected Appliances. Whirlpool Corporation, the world’s leading manufacturer of major home appliances, and IBM today announced a new collaboration to connect Whirlpool connected home appliances with IBM Watson services, including cognitive analytics, to provide more personalized services to consumers.

Oktoberfest of Things!

October 2, 2015 § Leave a comment

Every year, I look forward to the start of the fall season. It’s one of my favorites for a variety of reason especially Oktoberfest. Oktoberfest is the world’s largest Volksfest (beer festival and traveling fun fair). With more than 6 million people from around the world attending the event every year and large quantities of Oktoberfest Beer consumed, an estimated 7.7 million liters are served during the 16 day festival. That said, we at IBM have been investing a lot of time, resources and energy into the Internet of Things (IoT). It’s exciting to think about as the Internet of Things, Big Data and Cloud Computing have the ability to transform everything at mega events like Oktoberfest from lighting, sanitation, energy, and most importantly beer delivery. These mega events are really just temporary small cities requiring lot’s of planning and real-time analysis. The introduction of IoT enabled bracelets with localization information at mega events this year has also improve crowd management improving security creating the best experience for everyone. I also understand at Oktoberfest some brilliant inventors have developed beer tables and coasters that utilize sensors to track the number of beer mug lifts and fill levels alerting waiters just in time for the next (IoT) beverage. Cheers!

Sports Enhancing IoT Services

October 1, 2015 § Leave a comment

It’s estimated the market for wearable electronic devices, along with apps and services for sports fitness and personal health, is worth $1.6 billion worldwide in 2015. This market category is expected to rise to $5 billion in 2016 with companies incorporating sensors into sportswear, casual apparel, shoes, balls, rackets, clubs, goggles and helmets. Collecting and analyzing all this exogenous data from these intelligent personal devices and accessories presents a huge opportunity for IBM Cloud, Big Data, Watson and Watson Health for the development of Cognitive Coaches and Watson Personalized Services. One prominent sportswear company is currently interacting with 120 million users. Their users logged 100 million unique workouts entries in January of 2015 alone, making them uniquely positioned to transform the new digital consumer, athlete, and team sport categories. In the near future, we will begin to see these companies and new start-ups introduce real-time pattern-of-performance (PoP) services for individuals powered by next generation Apps developed on IBM Bluemix with IBM Watson APIs.

IBM Watson unveils the largest and most diverse platform for cognitive computing in San Francisco

September 25, 2015 § Leave a comment


At this week’s event, IBM Watson unveiled the largest and most diverse platform for cognitive computing in San Francisco. I have included some of the highlights below for your review.    

Largest Platform of Cognitive Computing Technologies

In 20 months, the Watson platform has evolved from one API and a limited set of application-specific deep Q&A capabilities to 28 APIs powered by more than 50 technologies. 

New Office in San Francisco

The new San Francisco location, on 505 Howard Street, opens in 2016 and expands our presence in the Golden State. It features:

  • IBM Watson Experience Center – an interactive lab for clients, partners and start-ups
  • New headquarters for IBM’s Commerce business, including the Commerce ThinkLab where Watson researchers, developers and designers work with partners like Facebook to help design highly personalized and timely experiences
  • IBM Spark Technology Center – hub for data science community to collaborate with designers to help accelerate the usability of the open source computing framework and development of smart business apps
  • IBM Design Studio – teams of designers, engineers and coders design next generation of IBM products
  • IBM Global Business Services – teams focused on design and development for MobileFirst for iOS enterprise apps working in partnership with Apple
  • New headquarters for IBM’s Cloud Ecosystem – focused on fostering collaboration with entrepreneurs, business partners, developers, start-ups and academics to fuel a new ecosystem of cloud apps
New and Expanded Capabilities on the Watson Developer Cloud

Language + Speech: Dramatic advances in services that enable people to interact with cognitive applications on their terms through natural language and speech.

  • IBM Watson Natural Language Classifier enables developers to build products and applications that understand intent and meaning, finding answers for users even when questions are asked in varying ways.
  • IBM Watson Dialog makes app interactions more natural by creating conversations tailored to the individual style a person uses to answer a question.
  • IBM Watson Retrieve & Rank improves QA information retrieval using machine learning to detect “signals” in data and help users uncover even the most hard to find information.


  • IBM Watson Visual Insights service for the first time allows developers to build apps that reveal insights from social media images and video. Available initially as an experimental service, this API applies reasoning to the content of images to deliver deeper insights, assess trends and patterns, and get a more comprehensive view of what users are communicating to get the ‘big picture.’
  • Developer Tools bring customization and learning capabilities to APIs and significantly speeds the time and expertise required to write Watson code.
Developers Join the Cognitive Movement

As the platform and developer community expands, so too have the commercial implications.  More than 350 start-ups and businesses in the Watson Ecosystem program are now building off the platform to create new apps, businesses and services. More than 77,000 developers globally are piloting, testing and deploying new business ideas.

IBM Watson Ecosystem Partners in Market

We have reached a new milestone as 100 Watson partners have now introduced cognitive enabled apps, products and services into the market. 

The app economy is in full swing and projected to grow to $143 billion in 2016 with applications catering to every conceivable interest and industry. IDC predicts that by 2018, half of all consumers will interact with services based on cognitive computing on a regular basis.

Internet of Medical Devices (IoMD)

September 24, 2015 § Leave a comment


Tens of millions of Americans live with medical devices implanted in their bodies today. Currently, the advances in medical technology and growth of the Baby Boomer population in America (26% of the total U.S. population) requires systems like the (UDI) initiative to improve patient safety, modernize device post market surveillance, and facilitate medical device innovation. That said, the FDA is establishing a unique device identification system to adequately identify medical devices through their distribution and use. When the new system is fully implemented, the labels on devices will include a unique device identifier (UDI) in human and machine readable form. The (UDI) system will be phased in over several years starting with (all) Life-sustaining and Life-supporting devices, regardless of device class in 2015 and concluding with Class I Medical Devices in 2020.

The goal is to improve the identification of medical devices by making it possible to rapidly and definitively identify a device and some key attributes that affect its safe and effective use. This will facilitate more accurate reporting of adverse events (AEs) by making it easier to pinpoint the device at issue in any submitted report.

The FDA, Healthcare Providers, and Medical Device Manufacturers may then more rapidly and precisely extract useful information from adverse event reports and thereby gain a better understanding of the underlying problems and improve the ability to take immediate and better focused corrective action. 

Examples of Class III devices that currently require a pre-market notification include implantable pacemakers, pulse generators, HIV diagnostic tests, automated external defibrillators, and endosseous implants.

Examples of Class II devices include acupuncture needles, powered wheelchairs, infusion pumps and surgical drapes.

Finally, Class I devices, subject to the least regulatory control include products like elastic bandages, examination gloves, and hand-held surgical instruments.

Moving forward, the emergence of the Internet of Medical Devices (IoMD) will improve the ability of the industry and it’s patients to have better insight into the products enabling and impacting their daily lives.   

Reducing Concussion Injury with the Internet of Things

September 23, 2015 § Leave a comment

Football Helmet 2

A concussion is defined as a complex pathophysiological process that affects the brain, typically induced by trauma to the brain. Today, it’s estimated that 50% to 75% of all sports-related concussions are “missed.” The exciting news is sensor technology embedded in helmets now has the ability to track and measure the impact and severity of head injuries. While the long term effects of multiple concussions are currently being studied by researchers around the globe, the Internet of Things (IoT) can start helping to reduce the estimated 1.6 million to 3.8 million concussions that occur in sports like football, basketball, baseball, ice hockey and soccer each year.

Football is the most common sport with concussion risk for males (75% chance for concussion) and Soccer represents the most common sport with concussion risk for females (50% chance for concussion). Sensor and Helmet manufacturers are quick to point out that their products don’t diagnose concussions or any other injury. They however say, their devices and helmets  do give coaches and trainers additional criteria that can help in determining whether a player should come out of a game or seek immediate medical attention. This represents a positive first step as fewer than 10% of sports related concussions involve a loss of consciousness (e.g, blacking out, seeing stars, etc.). It estimated that 5-10% of all athletes will experience a concussion in any given sports season with 78% of concussions occurring during games (as opposed to practice). With over 1,093,234 young men playing high school football in 2015 and countless young women and men playing soccer, ice hockey, baseball, and basketball it’s clear these cloud technologies represent a tremendous improvement in player safety.