IBM announces Two New Partnerships with Melanoma Institute Australia and MoleMap to Advance Research in Melanoma Identification

IBM (NYSE: IBM) Research in Australia has announced plans to undertake research with Melanoma Institute Australia to help further advance the identification of melanoma using cognitive technology. This planned research builds on IBM’s existing research agreement with Molemap, which uses advanced visual analytics to analyze more than 40,000 data sets including images and text. IBM Research plans to analyze dermatological images of skin lesions to help identify specific clinical patterns in the early stages of melanoma. The Australian research aims to help reduce unnecessary biopsies and help clinicians more accurately understand skin cancer, which could help to improve patient care.

Despite public awareness programs and efforts to address its prevalence, Australia has one of the highest rates of skin cancer, including melanoma, in the world. Current statistics indicate that two in three Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer before the age of 70, yet 95 to 99 per cent of all skin cancers are preventable2. Early diagnosis of skin cancer is critical for survival rates, notably for melanoma which is considered among the most life threatening.  According to our national cancer statistics someone dies from melanoma every six hours2.

Using advanced visual analytics IBM Research will conduct retrospective analysis on de-identified data, which will include access to more than one million images from 9,000 Australian and New Zealand patients, as well as text based clinical notes in an effort to improve the accuracy of its machine learning algorithms. IBM’s cognitive technology would aim to learn to understand skin cancers such as melanoma, basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma using lower resolution clinical images, with a goal of similar accuracy to what can be achieved with dermoscopy images.

Melanoma Institute Australia operates the world’s largest melanoma research and treatment facility, and controls the largest melanoma research database in the world. Professor Graham Mann, Research Director at Melanoma Institute Australia explained, “Research that enables the earlier detection of melanoma is likely to save more lives in the future. The five-year survival rate for melanoma is only 64 percent once the disease reaches the lymph nodes. However this rises to 95 percent if detected before then. Diagnosing melanoma with the naked eye is only about 60 percent accurate, but dermoscopy can lift that to over 80 percent. Research using automated analysis of images could provide the next gain in accuracy, especially where dermoscopy is hard to access.”

The planned research with Melanoma Institute Australia follows on from an initial joint IBM MoleMap investigation in 2015 whereby IBM Research performed retrospective analysis of complex and versatile data sets of 40,000 images, dermatology opinion and diagnosis on each image, spanning three types of skin cancer and twelve benign disease groups. This formative testing on historical data suggested an accurate detection of melanoma from 12 various benign skin diseases of 91 percent on dermoscopy images, and 83 percent on clinical photography images.

“Melanomas are often missed in routine skin checks, as doctors don’t always have the technology or skills to recognize them, particularly in the early stages. Our aim at MoleMap is to detect melanoma earlier and more accurately, so partnering with IBM and using its cognitive capabilities to help drive this forward made perfect sense for us. We’re looking forward to seeing what we can achieve together to help fight this deadly disease,” said Adrian Bowling, CEO of MoleMap. Since 1997 MoleMap has seen more than 200,000 patients and assessed more than 6 million lesions through 50 clinics across New Zealand, Australia and the United States.

The planned research aims to scale and test this performance.  Melanoma Institute Australia and MoleMap will help IBM Research to further train and validate the algorithms to help improve the understanding and identification of early stages of melanoma, which could help to improve patient care.

Dr. Joanna Batstone, Vice President and Lab Director, IBM Research – Australia said, “Cognitive computing has the ability to process vast amounts of complex data including images and text very quickly, something that isn’t possible by current manual methods.  Another major benefit of the self-learning technology is that it improves as more and more data is fed into it. This initiative could inform future research and, potentially, the development of offerings that could have enormous implications for both the Australian public and the health system.”

The news further complements IBM’s existing research into skin cancer image analysis with the world’s oldest and largest private cancer center, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in the United States.

 

About IBM Research – Australia:

For more information about IBM Research, visit www.ibm.com/labs/australia, or follow @IBMResearch on Twitter.

About Melanoma Institute Australia

Melanoma Institute Australia is a non-profit, non-government Australian organization dedicated to preventing and curing melanoma by pioneering advances in research and treatment that are making a difference to the lives of patients today. Find out more at www.melanoma.org.au.

About MoleMap

MoleMap is one of the world’s largest melanoma screening programs having managed the risk of over 200,000 patients across Australia, New Zealand and the USA. By combining proprietary imaging and tele-health technologies with a validated clinical procedure that in turn is linked to a global pool of melanoma experts, MoleMap is able to offer its customers peace of mind that they will pick up melanoma at the earliest possible stage.


1 All statements regarding IBM’s future direction and intent are subject to change or withdrawal without notice, and represents goals and objections only.

2 Skin Cancer in Australia: Our National Cancer, Report on the Inquiry into Skin Cancer in Australia, House of Representatives, Standing Committee on Health, March 2015

IBM Closes Acquisition of EZSource

IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced it has completed the acquisition of EZ Legacy Ltd. (EZSource), an application discovery and understanding company that helps developers understand and visualize software to more easily modify mainframe applications. Financial details were not disclosed.

Together, EZSource and IBM will enable clients to unlock billions of lines of application code residing on z Systems to help accelerate companies’ adoption of hybrid cloud. The combination can help developers identify and change parts of applications that are candidates to connect into the hybrid cloud via application programming interfaces (APIs). IBM’s strength in digital transformation, API Economy, hybrid cloud and enterprise DevOps is complimented by EZSource’s capabilities to understand and analyze applications. The infusion of EZSource’s technology into the z Systems portfolio will help clients more rapidly discover new ways to take advantage of the mainframe.

“The IBM mainframe is a foundational technology for digital transformation. Today’s developers can drown in the sea of complex application code,” said Ross Mauri, general manager, IBM z Systems. “EZSource’s application discovery technology makes it fast and easy for developers to understand and extend those applications at the speed of business.”

“As we integrate with IBM, the ability to extend our technology expertise to the z Systems portfolio while taking advantage of its global presence will help us reach more clients as they work to modernize their computing infrastructure,” said Eran Tirer, CEO, EZSource.

To learn more about the IBM z Systems portfolio, visit http://www.ibm.com/systems/z/ or the IBM Systems blog. To learn more about IBM Application Discovery visit http://www.ibm.com/application-discovery/.

IBM Targets Developers with Powerful In-Memory Database in the Cloud

IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced a new version of its industry leading database software, IBM DB2 V11.1 to help developers easily bridge on-premise applications to the cloud and enable a hybrid data architecture.

DB2 V11.1 is powerful multi-workload database software that powers the next generation of applications including mobile, advanced analytics, cognitive and highly available transactions. IBM DB2 offers a security-rich environment required for the hybrid world, designed to protect data both in flight and at rest. It also scales to new heights of performance by enabling its in-memory technology to be easily deployed across a massively parallel processing architecture and helping to dramatically improve response times.

 

“We rely on IBM DB2 to power our always-on enterprise applications, ensuring fast order fulfillment and rapid insight into business performance,” said Jürgen Laudien, European Infrastructure Manager, Yazaki Europe Ltg, a global automotive parts supplier. “We’re excited about having the ability to handle petabytes of data with the latest version of DB2, which also positions us to easily move some workloads to the cloud. Whether we want the benefits of a hybrid cloud or a private cloud, DB2 and DB2 on Cloud will give us that flexibility. We’re also pleased to know that we have another option to get the benefits of DB2 as a fully managed service using dashDB for Transactions.”

Leveraging common features, accessibility, security and tooling provides a consistent experience so consumers receive the fast and reliable data they expect, regardless of deployment option. Therefore, IBM DB2 helps ensure that moving or extending applications to the cloud won’t disrupt business.

IBM DB2 makes data simple so developers can focus on:

  • Building new apps that manage “born in the cloud” data
  • Moving data workloads from data centers to the cloud
  • Delivering Short-term database projects
  • Creating off-premises disaster recovery fail-safes
  • Pushing data to data centers across the globe to facilitate geographic reach and regulatory compliance

Additionally, IBM DB2 is SQL-compatible with Oracle Database, making it easy to leverage existing skills to move applications from Oracle to DB2, whether on premises or in the cloud, with minimal-to-no application changes.

“In today’s world, clients need to leverage a truly hybrid data infrastructure that reduces the boundaries of where they can build and deploy efficient, resilient and highly scalable applications,” said Rob Thomas, vice president of development, IBM Analytics. “DB2 is the best choice for mission critical, multi-workload applications, regardless of where you deploy them, on premise or in the cloud.  This agility helps our clients accelerate innovation for competitive advantage.

To learn more about DB2 on Cloud, visit here: http://ibm.biz/DB2onCloudforpress

IBM to set up cyber centre in Canberra

IBM has announced that it will create a National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) in Canberra, to be headed by Kevin Zuccato, a former Australian Federal Police assistant commissioner and head of the Australian High Tech Crime Centre.

The company said the NCSC would allow access to IBM’s threat-sharing platform used by more than 2,000 businesses around the world, provide emergency response teams for security incidents, and would be partnering with its Australian Security Development Lab on the Gold Coast.

“With the establishment of the IBM National Cyber Security Centre in Canberra, we will provide a destination for government and organisations to proactively collaborate on strategy and policy,” said Kerry Purcell, IBM ANZ managing director. “The NCSC will drive a culture of innovation and openness, essential if we are to tackle this growing issue for every organisation.”

IBM did not specify the timing of the centre’s opening, nor the number of employees it would have.

The new centre will align with the federal government’s cyber strategy, IBM said, and will look to support both government and business in improving information security capabilities.

Announced in April, the AU$240 million Cyber Security Strategy had as its centrepiece the sharing of threat information between business and government, using the existing Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) and new portals in capital cities.

As part of the package, the government said it would create two new roles: Minister assisting the prime minister on cyber security, and special adviser on cyber security within the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet — the latter of which was filled by former e-safety commissioner Alastair MacGibbon.

In its Defence White Paper, launched in February, the Australian government said it would spend between AU$300 million and AU$400 million over the decade to the 2025-26 financial year on its Cyber Security Capability Improvement program.

EuropaCorp Taps IBM Aspera for Fast, Secure Collaboration and Distribution of Major Films

IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that EuropaCorp, a major film producer in France, is using IBM Aspera high-speed file transfer software throughout the production, editing and distribution of major motion pictures to speed collaboration and file exchange between offices and partners.

Founded by French filmmaker Luc Besson, EuropaCorp produces and distributes English and French-language feature films, including blockbuster franchises such as the Taken trilogy and the Transporter series.

The company is using Aspera Faspex™ to collaborate and exchange large files between its Paris headquarters, a satellite office in Los Angeles, and external vendors and film directors around the world. With an easy-to-use web interface and high-speed Aspera transport technology built-in, Faspex simplifies and accelerates the transfer of visual effects (VFX) materials, digital cinema packages (DCPs), trailers and other large media files and metadata on a daily basis, shortening end-to-end production schedules and improving collaboration between globally dispersed creative teams.

Today with the Aspera solution, EuropaCorp is able to send a DCP file (100 GB or more) from Paris to L.A. in two hours, a process that could take up to a week with traditional transfer protocols such as FTP.

“When we set out to find a transfer solution that could meet our requirements for speed and security, there were no comparable options – no one else can do what Aspera does,” said Agnès Berger Sébenne, head of postproduction at EuropaCorp. “Other options simply aren’t good enough.”

In addition, EuropaCorp leveraged Aspera to replace its traditional means of transporting the data across international borders. Up till now, the company often relied on overnight mail services or sending employees with the material to personally deliver the files, however both options carried significant risk of theft, loss or damage. With Faspex, all content is secured with encryption over the wire and at rest, and all security options can be preset and enforced through security policies.

“EuropaCorp required a fast, secure and dependable file transfer solution to shorten production schedules and keep valuable content safe from loss or theft, which can be very costly and damaging to the company’s revenues and brand,” said Bruce Brewer, European sales director at Aspera. “For EuropaCorp, Aspera was the obvious choice because of its unmatched speed, reliability and extensive security features that keep content safe throughout the transfer process.”

About Aspera

Aspera, an IBM company, is the creator of next-generation transport technologies that move the world’s data at maximum speed regardless of file size, transfer distance and network conditions. Part of IBM Cloud, Aspera software is powered by the Emmy® award-winning FASP® protocol to deliver the fastest, most predictable file-transfer, share and sync experience across on-premises, cloud, and hybrid infrastructure. Aspera’s core technology delivers unprecedented control over bandwidth, complete security and uncompromising reliability. Organizations across a variety of industries on six continents rely on Aspera software for the business-critical transport of their digital assets. Please visit http://www.asperasoft.com and follow us on Twitter @asperasoft for more information.

About EuropaCorp

The EuropaCorp group produces and distributes films for the French and international markets. Structured around the vertically integrated studio concept, its strategy aims to control each stage of the production-distribution cycle of its ambitious and varied films. Since its foundation in 1999, EuropaCorp has produced or coproduced feature films for release in cinema. EuropaCorp is one of Europe’s leading independent film studios. For further information: www.europacorp-corporate.com.

About IBM

For more information about IBM Cloud please visit.

IBM Releases Next Generation of MobileFirst Foundation Designed for the Cloud

IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced the next generation of IBM MobileFirst Foundation now available on the IBM Cloud to simplify and accelerate enterprise mobile application development. Cloud adoption continues to be a top focus for enterprises. IDC forecasts that cloud IT infrastructure spending will reach $57.8 billion by 2020 accounting for 47.9 percent of the total spending on enterprise IT infrastructure[1]. This move towards a cloud infrastructure requires a mobile application development platform uniquely designed to provide the essential backend services for cloud deployments while enabling enterprises to use the front-end tools of their choice to create powerful mobile experiences with greater speed, security and performance.

“Demand for cloud continues to skyrocket and mobile applications are the driving force behind that demand within the enterprise” said Michael Gilfix, Vice President of MobileFirst and Smarter Process, IBM. “Uniquely designed for the cloud, the new IBM MobileFirst Foundation meets the need for speed and productivity in mobile application development without compromising security.”

Mobile is a critical entry point for digital transformation and as more enterprises migrate to the cloud, they will look for the following key advantages provided by the new IBM MobileFirst Foundation:

  • Flexible Cloud Deployment: In the new version, developers can now instantly provision an IBM MobileFirst Foundation environment on the cloud or on premise with one click to quickly create innovative mobile apps using the front-end tools and framework of their choice. IBM MobileFirst Foundation offers the flexibility to start small on the IBM Cloud, then move and scale production workloads on premises or in a dedicated cloud environment. This is a huge advancement in speeding the app development process.
  • Advanced Mobile Security: Security continues to be a primary concern for CIOs and IBM is a preferred enterprise mobile solution in the banking, financial services and healthcare verticals where data security is of utmost importance. The new IBM MobileFirst Foundation 8.0 has a built-in security framework that helps provide end-to-end protection from mobile-specific threats by securing data on the device as well as helping to protect corporate APIs from hackers and vulnerabilities.
  • Live Updates:  The ability to make real-time updates to an enterprise app on the back-end to improve its efficiency on the front-end has been critical to several of our clients. In the new version, users, including those who aren’t developers, can now make “Live Updates” to their apps by changing app functionality through configuration instead of code, without having to redeploy the app. Live Update reduces time and cost of app updates and cuts release cycle times down from weeks to days.
  • Intelligent Mobile Analytics: The advanced Mobile Analytics feature has the ability to gather real-time data on relevant app usage metrics and enables creation of custom business metrics based on in-app usage events to gain insight on where to invest next. Clients can discover and troubleshoot issues at the point of interaction with enhanced mobile analytics that can provide more relevant user insights.
  • API Connect Integration: Complement your mobile strategy with multi-channel API creation and management.  Create interfaces between back-end systems and mobile apps using IBM API Connect to add automated, visual and coding options for creating Node.js and Java microservice APIs. Integration with API Connect makes API lifecycle management easier for developers, IT departments and business leaders.

IBM has been named a leader in the June 2016 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Mobile App Development Platforms for its MobileFirst solution four years in a row and is positioned highest in execution within the Leaders Quadrant. According to Gartner, Inc., “Leaders must represent a strong combination of Ability to Execute and Completeness of Vision. In the MADP sector, this means that Leaders not only are good at cross-platform development, deployment and management across the full life cycle, but also have a good vision of the multichannel enterprise, support for multiple architectures and standards, a solid understanding of IT requirements, and scalable channels and partnerships. Leaders must provide platforms that are easy to purchase, program, deploy and upgrade, and which can connect to a range of back-end and cloud services — from both the same vendor and from third parties.” Download the full Gartner report here.

IBM has supported more than 5,000 clients from around the world in industries ranging from finance and retail to healthcare and telecommunications as they transform into mobile enterprises. Here are a few examples of clients leveraging IBM MobileFirst as they undergo the digital transformation:

  • El Universal: The major Mexican newspaper founded in 1916, El Universal needed a way for mobile users to control their categories of interest, instead of sending them push notifications for all new content. El Universal leveraged IBM MobileFirst to redesign the subscription capabilities in their app and better serve their readers.
  • Rescue Bank: A non-profit organization supporting the animal rescue and rehabilitation community with supplies and services, Rescue Bank leveraged IBM MobileFirst to launch a scalable field services app to manage real-time inventory visibility and reduce errors, costs and handling time.
  • Tangerine Bank: The Canadian bank needed to adapt to consumer preferences quickly amid the rapid growth of mobile banking. Tangerine is using IBM MobileFirst to speed mobile development cycles from six weeks to two, enabling delivery of innovative customer service tools.
  • Security First Insurance: A leading Florida-based homeowners insurance company, Security First Insurance deployed the Security First Mobile app based on IBM MobileFirst to enhance the mobile experience. Since deploying the app, Security First Insurance has seen a 195 percent increase in average monthly new users and a 140 percent increase in online payments.

To get started with IBM MobileFirst Foundation on the IBM Cloud, please visit:    https://www.ibm.com/marketplace/cloud/mobile-cloud-applications/us/en-us

About IBM MobileFirst

IBM’s 6,000 mobile experts have been at the forefront of mobile enterprise innovation. IBM has secured more than 4,300 patents in mobile, social and security, which have been incorporated into IBM MobileFirst solutions that enable enterprise clients to radically streamline and accelerate mobile adoption, help organizations engage more people and capture new markets. For more information on IBM MobileFirst, visit the press kit or www.ibm.com/mobilefirst. Follow @IBMMobile on Twitter, and see IBM MobileFirst on YouTube, Tumblr and Facebook.

About IBM Cloud

For more information on IBM Cloud visit: www.ibm.com/cloud-computing.
Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

North Star BlueScope Steel Taps IBM Watson and Wearable Devices to Monitor Activity of Workers in Extreme Environments

North Star BlueScope Steel, a steel producer for global building and construction industries, today announced that it is applying IBM (NYSE:IBM) Watson Internet of Things (IoT) technology and wearable devices to pioneer novel approaches to help protect workers in extreme environments. The IBM Employee Wellness and Safety Solution, a research project that analyzes data collected from sensors in workers’ wearables, provides data to North Star management in real time when the technology senses potentially problematic conditions.

North Star BlueScope Steel is applying IBM Watson Internet of Things technology and wearable devices to pioneer novel approaches to help protect workers in extreme environments.  North Star is piloting the IBM Employee Wellness and Safety Solution to identify potentially problematic conditions by collecting data from various sensors that continuously monitor the worker’s skin body temperature, heart rate, galvanic skin response and level of activity, correlated with sensor data for ambient temperature and humidity. The solution then alerts North Star management so they can provide personalized safety guidelines to each individual employee.

Employees working in extreme environments face a daily risk from conditions that include everything from high heat and toxic gas to open flames and heavy-machinery accidents. Overexertion and falls account for more than $25 billion in U.S. workers’ compensation costs a year, according to the Liberty Mutual Research Institute 2014 Workplace Safety Index1, yet there is currently no practical way to verify that mandatory safety controls and personal protective equipment are being used in hazardous environments. In fact, nearly 3 million nonfatal occupational injuries were recorded in 20142.

“Our global economy relies on hundreds of millions of workers who do their jobs under extreme environmental conditions, and now we are exploring ways to apply the Internet of Things and cognitive computing to help organizations prevent accidents and to keep their employees safer,” said Harriet Green, general manager, IBM Watson IoT, Commerce and Education. “We use the IoT to gather, integrate and analyze sensor data from wearable devices. When coupled together with innovative cognitive capabilities and data from important external sources such as the environment and weather, it creates enormous potential for better managing health, wellness and safety to truly help transform the way these vital workers perform their jobs.”

Wearable sensors such as fitness bracelets are already available, but the cognitive solution conceived by IBM researchers in Haifa, Israel, offers a platform that is customizable and extends the power of cognitive computing to a group of many sensors, not just one. The ability to integrate data from multiple sensors means that the solution can do much more sophisticated analyses to help organizations identify problematic situations. For example, an organization could receive data on a combination of skin temperature, raised heart rate, and no movement for several minutes, which could indicate potentially fatal heat stress, while any of these signals on its own might not seem serious.

“Many of these injuries can be prevented, whether by ensuring that protective equipment is used correctly, or that time or location limitations for hazardous situations are monitored,” explained Gabi Zodik, director, IoT and Mobile Platforms, IBM Research. “Our vision for smart worker safety involves integrating and presenting contextual information to management from a wide variety of sensors. It’s a method that is non-intrusive, is hands-free, always-on, environment-aware, and offers the direct delivery of critical information to those who need it, when they need it.”

Under this research project, North Star is piloting the IBM Employee Wellness and Safety Solution to identify potentially problematic conditions by collecting data from various sensors that continuously monitor the worker’s skin body temperature, heart rate, galvanic skin response and level of activity, correlated with sensor data for ambient temperature and humidity. The solution then alerts North Star management so they can provide personalized safety guidelines to each individual employee. The same technology can be used to collect data on excessive exposure to different temperatures, radiation levels, noise or toxic gases, using sensor tags for temperature, humidity, noise, or light measurements. Gases can be detected using personal sensors enabled via Wifi or Bluetooth low energy sensors.

“Through the testing of the IBM Employee Wellness and Safety Solution, we have observed an increased awareness of heat stress and exertion in our trial users,” said Malcolm Edge, I.T. director, North Star BlueScope Steel. “The solution has provided a proof of concept showcasing how data can flow from the user to the IBM Watson IoT Platform and back to a supervisor for intervention. This solution, once fully developed, will provide a solid foundation for increasing worker safety by providing real-time monitoring of the environment around the worker.”

For more information about North Star BlueScope Steel, please visit http://www.northstarbluescope.com/.

For more information about IBM Watson IoT, please visit www.ibm.com/iot or follow @IBMIoT on Twitter.

For more information about IBM Research, visit www.ibm.com/research or follow @IBMResearch on Twitter.

 

Sources:

  1. Liberty Mutual Research Institute. “Workplace Safety Index.” January 14, 2015. http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20150114005546/en/Liberty-Mutual-Research-Institute-Safety-Releases-2014
  2. United States Department of Labor. “Employer-Reported Workplace Injuries and Illnesses –2014.”October 29, 2015. http://www.bls.gov/news.release/osh.nr0.htm