IBM Watson Health working with Pathway Genomics on personalized lifestyle coach
LAS VEGAS – Pathway Genomics and IBM on Thursday unveiled 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.
"With access to health information via mobile internet, today's consumers are taking charge of their health and well being more than ever before. But at the same time they are overwhelmed with understanding and interpreting the massive amounts of information that specifically impacts their health and well-being," stated Michael Nova, chief innovation officer, Pathway Genomics. "With Watson cognitive computing leveraged by our technology we are able to deliver real-time, highly personalized insights to empower people to change unhealthy behaviors, allowing them to live healthier lives in ways we never thought possible. Users will have an easy to use side-kick that can do the work of sorting through and make sense of the data that will help them to lead healthier lives."
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, their health habits, data from GPS and wearable health monitors as well as 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.
For example, a user might have genetic variants responsible for metabolizing fats or for feeling sated (full stomach). OME would then consider this information when providing genetically optimal diet plans or even restaurant and menu recommendations. Studies show that users who follow a genetically informed diet can lose significantly more weight than those who follow a "one size fits all" type of plan.
According to Allied Market Research, the bioinformatics market, which includes genetics, is expected to grow to $12.9 billion by 2020; and the even larger mHealth market will grow to $59.1 billion.
To collect relevant genetic data, after approval by a licensed MD, Pathway Genomics will mail the user a saliva DNA collection kit. Then, Pathway will work with additional clinicians and scientists to conduct the Pathway Fit genetic test. The Pathway Fit test specifically looks at 75 genes that focus on phenotypes like diet, exercise, lipids and sugar metabolism.
Pathway's OME app then delivers personalized wellness insights to the user based on Pathway Genomics' proprietary analytics of the findings from the genetic test and other user data combined with Watson cognitive computing technology, intelligent machine learning, and a corpus of health and wellness information. Through Watson APIs, the Pathway app leverages Watson's natural language processing technology and content in the form of health and wellness information.
"We know that genetics play an important role in each person's individual health, yet there has been limited access to services and solutions that apply genetics to behaviors that enable day-to-day wellness," said Kyu Rhee, chief health officer, IBM Watson Health. "Pathway Genomics is the first to innovate both the specific genetic test and a Watson-powered mobile app to help individuals get insights from the data."
Target gets hearts pumping with SoulCycle partnership
MINNEAPOLIS — Target on Thursday announced a partnership with SoulCycle, the country’s premier full-body cycling workout, to bring guests across the country a wellness experience like no other.
“We know that wellness is top of mind for so many of our guests, especially at this time of year when people are looking for ways to reinvigorate their exercise routines” stated Jeff Jones, chief marketing officer, Target. “By partnering with a premier fitness brand like SoulCycle, we can offer a uniquely Target experience and help our guests start the new year off on a positive note.”
SoulCycle’s signature studio cycling classes are a rising trend — the 45-minute, high-intensity workouts (complete with candlelight and rocking music) have already captivated fitness enthusiasts in several U.S. cities.
As part of the partnership, Target will be broadening the program’s reach to give guests unprecedented access to this experience. This month, Target and SoulCycle will launch a 10-city tour featuring special three-day weekend events — with complimentary classes taught by certified SoulCycle instructors — in the following markets:
- Jan. 22–24: Washington D.C., Houston and Seattle;
- Jan. 29–31: Atlanta, Nashville and Denver;
- Feb. 5–7: Miami and Chicago; and
- Feb. 12–14: Minneapolis and Los Angeles.
Events are open to the public for six classes a day, but with the limited number of bikes, space is expected to fill up quickly.
To help guests give their workout gear a stylish refresh, each event will also feature a pop-up shop with Target x SoulCycle workout apparel, plus wellness products.
Costco December comp sales up 3% with strong performance from pharmacy division
ISSAQUAH, Wash. – Costco Wholesale Corporation on Wednesday reported net sales of $12.5 billion for the month of December, which includes the five weeks ended Jan. 3, 2016, an increase of 3%.
For the 18 weeks ended Jan. 3, 2016, the company reported net sales of $41.7 billion, an increase of 2%.
Comparable sales across Costco's U.S. network were up 3% across both time frames.
Comparable results were best among the company's hearing aid, optical and pharmacy categories, Jeff Elliott, AVP financial planning and investor relations, shared in a pre-recorded call for investors. Comparable sales of fresh food was up in the mid single digits and across food and sundries in the low to mid single digits, Elliott reported.
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