IBM today announced it is working with the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) to create the world's largest and most comprehensive clinical dataset on cancer patients by building cancer registries in developing nations.
The effort will begin in Sub-Saharan Africa, where less than one percent of the region's population is covered by a cancer registry.
With more than a billion people in the region, this new effort will improve cancer registration and, in time, treatment for patients in Africa while enriching knowledge about cancer for patients all over the world.
Cancer registries provide governments with incidence and mortality data so that effective policies for cancer control can be developed, implemented and evaluated.
They also provide clinicians with information about patient outcomes to help identify tailored treatment options. Reliable and comprehensive data leads to the most effective interventions for saving lives.
The donation of Big Data and analytics technology was announced by Gary Cohen, Chairman, IBM Africa, at the World Cancer Leaders' Summit in Cape Town.
He said: "IBM's objective is to help find ways to level the field of access through innovation and knowledge, so that we can bridge the divide between the discovery of cancer and the delivery of treatment with positive outcomes, regardless of geography."
The initiative will begin in two to three countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, continue throughout the region and extend to Southeast Asia and Latin America.
The IBM collaboration supports UICC's work with the Global Initiative for Cancer Registries in low- and middle-income Countries (GICR).
According to the World Health Organization, about 70 percent of all cancer deaths occur in developing nations. Experts predict that the Sub-Saharan region alone will see more than an 85 percent increase in its cancer burden by 2030.
Cary Adams, Chief Executive Officer of UICC, said: "With IBM's expertise in Big Data and analytics, I can imagine a world in which the very latest scientifically proven means of detecting and treating cancer is available in all countries, benefiting patients wherever they are in the world
"This information will provide unique and compelling insights on cancer, the likes of which we have not seen before."