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Healthcare and Life Sciences

Leveraging multi-disciplinary skills in science and technology to improve health outcomes by transforming the health ecosystem in prioritized disease areas.

Latest news and events

IBM AI algorithms can read chest X-rays at resident radiologist levels

Could AI help clinicians to predict Alzheimer’s disease before it develops?

Gauteng Province Launches COVID-19 Dashboard Developed by IBM Research, Wits University and GCRO – Now Open to the Public

ibm researcher with microscope

Research and innovation addressing today's greatest health challenges

The IBM Research Healthcare and Life Sciences team is dedicated to exploring and developing new methodologies and improving processes for a broad range of health care challenges. From how we can help in the diagnosis of diseases, to managing population health, or a better understanding the human genome, the team blends a broad set of disciplines such as biology, chemistry, data analytics, AI and medicine to pursue their work.

ibm researcher with microscope

IBM’s response to COVID-19

To meet the global challenge of COVID-19, the world must come together. IBM has resources to share — like supercomputing power, virus tracking and an AI assistant to answer citizens’ questions.

Explore the response

Research areas

Our research falls into four themes: Computational Biology, Computational Health, Digital Health, Data Fabric and Engineering. We are leveraging multi-disciplinary skills in science and technology to accelerate growth and improve health outcomes.

Improve health by understanding disease mechanisms and fundamental biological processes through analytics and modeling.


Gaining insights into deeper genomic and transcriptomic information from communities of micro-organisms in various applications.

Multi-scale modeling

Developing theoretical and computational frameworks to bridge the spatial and temporal scale of human biology using mechanistic models, statistical models, and machine learning.

Drug Discovery

Enabling and expediting the identification and optimization of safe and effective drugs by leveraging data science, mechanistic understanding, simulation, and latest AI

Improve health outcomes of individuals at sustainable cost by developing novel AI technologies applied to diverse health data.

Disease and intervention modeling

Creating models that can be used to better understand and characterize complex and continuously evolving manifestations and implications of conditions and interventions, in order to better predict future trajectories of individuals and populations and identify the achievable targets for outcome improvement. 

Delivery optimization and behavior intervention

Generating dynamic insights for populations and individuals to help achieve the identified targets through decision optimization for integrated care systems and behavioral intervention for improved patient engagement.

Advances in challenging disease areas

Applying novel computational methods to some of the most challenging disease areas - specifically oncology and neurology - to drive new advancements as part of an integrated care model.

Medical Knowledge extraction and representation

Analyzing structured and unstructured clinical data from electronic health records and claims to develop predictive models and cognitive insights to improve healthcare delivery, drug discovery and patient outcomes. 

Improve individual health by creating systems to collect, aggregate, understand, and feedback relevant signals.

Cognitive IoT for healthcare

Creating systems and interfaces that engage users and embed cognitive insights into everyday interaction. Includes measurements and interventions.


Applying nanotechnology to biology and medicine, with a focus on precision diagnostics, the exploration of micro and nanoscale materials, and micro and nanofluidics.

Diagnostics & sensing devices

Low cost point of care diagnostics, non-invasive sensor systems support detection and monitoring biomarkers and physiological medical parameters.

Conditions focus

We enable better health outcomes with science and technology by focusing on conditions in the following categories: cardiovascular and metabolic, neurological and mental health, immunology, and oncology.

Explore conditions


The Healthcare and Life Sciences organization is publishing academic and technical papers in journals that span the breadth and depth of our research portfolio. From developing new AI techniques to bring the power of cognitive computing to healthcare, to designing new sensing devices and systems, our team pushes the boundaries of healthcare research. Browse some of our latest publications in our publications portal. 

Explore publications


Featured news, projects, and research from our blog

Advances in challenging disease areas 

Could AI help clinicians to predict Alzheimer’s disease before it develops?

Multi-scale Modeling 

New research into cancer immunotherapies

Structured Data Analytics

Using Machine Learning to Develop Blood Test For Key Alzheimer’s Biomarker

DREAM Challenge 

DREAM Challenges pose fundamental questions about systems biology and translational science

Work with us

We partner with academia, research institutions and our IBM colleagues and clients to bring innovative solutions to some of the world's most challenging problems. We look to our partners to validate our technology by solving a problem that is meaningful, either to business or industry. Some of our partners include:


A joint team of IBM Research and Watson Health scientists are working side by side with Guerbet to develop an artificial intelligence (AI) software solution in collaboration with IBM Watson Health to support liver cancer diagnostics, utilizing CT and MRI imaging, and care.


A team of scientists from IBM and JDRF are collaborating to develop and apply machine learning methods to analyze years of global T1D research data and identify factors leading to the onset of T1D in children.


Researchers from Mount Sinai and IBM have published a paper in Nature Communications detailing a novel clue in explaining how cancer cells with identical genomes can respond differently to the same therapy.

IBM Watson Health

Whether you’re a leader, advocate or influencer in health, Watson Health have the support to help deliver the innovation and insight needed to power thriving organizations, support vibrant communities and address the most complex issues facing the healthcare industry.

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