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The companies will apply Watson cognitive computing to data Delos is generating in work with the Mayo Clinic to better understand how indoor environments impact health and wellness.

IBM partners with Delos to develop cloud apps that promote healthy indoor environments

By Jack McCarthy
11:03 AM
IBM Delos cloud Watson

IBM is collaborating with the wellness real estate and technology firm Delos to bring data analytics, Internet of Things technology and cognitive apps together to develop insights into how the design of indoor spaces impacts human health.

In a multi-year collaboration, Delos will leverage IBM’s Watson supercomputing platform and data analytics services through IBM’s Bluemix cloud platform, to create cognitive applications that probe the connections between health and indoor environments.

The companies expect to realize insights to not only improve the design, construction and management of indoor space, but to identify the potential return on investment that can be achieved by building healthier living and working environments.

IBM’s Watson will draw from the terabytes of research data being generated from Delos Labs, Well Living Lab and Delos Applied Research units.

[Also: Machine learning changing everything but healthcare]

Delos COO Peter Scialla said it’s important to ensure that indoor spaces are not only livable, but also healthy.

“Delos is generating massive amounts of data to measure the impact of the built environment on occupant health,” Scialla said in a statement.

IBM’s technology stack and expertise in areas such as Internet of Things (IoT), sensors, and data analytics capabilities will enable Delos to apply cognitive services to its data, Scialla added.

The Well Living Lab, a collaboration between Delos and Mayo Clinic, is a lab that simulates a wide variety of real-world indoor environments – including homes and offices – to enable scientists and researchers to study the many important effects of indoor light, thermal comfort, acoustics, air quality, and more on the health and well-being of building occupants.

Researchers can draw on medical histories of study subjects, as well as capture data from thousands of sensors embedded throughout the Well Living Lab, in the furniture, on the walls and ceilings, as well biometric data from state of the art wearables. In addition, the Lab collects information from numerous surveys and questionnaires from the subjects.

Delos and IBM developers, working out of the New York site of IBM’s Bluemix Garage network, plan to analyze all this data using Watson, including Watson Emotion Analysis.

Experiments are already under way involving simulations in a developed environment that affect stress and productivity for office workers. IBM is working with the Well Living Lab to develop an advanced data analytics platform to parse sensor and IoT data for health and wellness insights. Leveraging this power, Well Living Lab researchers and scientists will have fast access to insights that can be used to create spaces that promote improved human performance and wellness.

“As the healthcare community increasingly recognizes the many factors that impact health, the Well Living Lab is improving our understanding of how indoor environments impact health and wellness,” said IBM Bluemix Garage director Shawn Murray. “By infusing the Lab with advances in cloud innovation, cognitive computing and the Internet of Things, we believe we can help identify insights that deepen and accelerate this research.”

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