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Technology & Innovation

Supercomputers Mine Health Patent Data

Using super cloud computing, IBM has created a public database of chemical compounds extracted from 4.7 million patents and donated it to the National Institutes of Health.

What’s the Latest Development?


IBM supercomputers have mined 24 years of medical patents and biomedical abstracts to create a database of 2.4 million chemical compounds used in pharmaceutical research and donated it to the National Institutes of Health. IBM’s Strategic IP Insight Platform, or SIIP, “is tasked with scanning millions of pharmaceutical patents and biomedical journals to discover, analyze, and record any info pertaining to drug discovery.” In many cases, data comes from expired patents which were previously very difficult to access.

What’s the Big Idea?

What if IBM’s technology were turned loose not only on medical patents but all kinds of patents? Individual inventors could use the supercomputers’ mining capabilities to better understand how far their own field has progressed in order to improve on the work of past visionaries. Currently, progress of that kind remains almost impossible because of the time, money, and effort required to pore through thousands or millions of patents and journals. IBM’s super cloud computing could change all that.


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