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INDIANAPOLIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Apr 23, 2012-- WellPoint announced today that Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center will provide clinical expertise to help shape WellPoint's new health care solutions.

WellPoint announced plans in September to develop commercial applications utilizing IBM Watson to help improve patient care and support physicians in their efforts to make the most informed, personalized treatment decisions possible. It is estimated that new clinical research and medical information doubles every five years, and nowhere is this knowledge advancing more quickly than in the complex area of cancer care.

WellPoint believes oncology is one of the medical fields that could greatly benefit from this technology, given IBM Watson's ability to respond to inquiries posed in natural language and to learn from the responses it generates. The WellPoint health care solutions will draw from vast libraries of information including medical evidence-based scientific and health care data, and clinical insights from institutions like Indiana University. The goal is to assist physicians in evaluating evidence-based treatment options that can be delivered to the physician in a matter of seconds for assessment. WellPoint and the IU Simon Cancer Center envision that this valuable enhancement to the decision-making process could empower physician-patient discussions about the best and most effective courses of treatment and improve the overall quality of patient care.

The IU Simon Cancer Center was selected as WellPoint's partner and clinical consultant based on its reputation as one of the nation's premier cancer institutions and its proven results in the diagnosis and treatment of complex cancers. IU Simon Cancer Center has experience and demonstrated success in working with technology innovators and shares WellPoint's commitment to improving the quality, efficiency and effectiveness of health care through innovation and technology.

IU Simon Cancer Center experts will help develop recommendations on appropriate clinical content for the WellPoint health care solutions.

They will also assist in the evaluation and testing of the specific tools that WellPoint plans to develop for the oncology field. The cancer experts will provide guidance on how to improve the content and utility of the treatment options provided to the physicians using the new technology and will also become early adopters in piloting the system.

Leading the IU Simon Cancer Center's efforts are George W. Sledge, Jr., MD, and Patrick J. Loehrer, Sr., MD. They will work closely with WellPoint's clinical experts, and with IU's trusted informatics partner, the Regenstrief Institute, to provide advice on how the solutions may be best utilized in clinical practice to support increased understanding of the evolving body of knowledge in cancer, including emerging therapies not widely known by community physicians.

As the solutions are developed, Drs. Sledge and Loehrer will also provide guidance to WellPoint.

"As we design the WellPoint systems that leverage IBM Watson's capabilities, it is essential that we incorporate the highly-specialized knowledge and real-life practice experiences of the nation's premier clinical experts," said Harlan Levine, MD, executive vice president of WellPoint's Comprehensive Health Solutions. "The contributions from Dr. Sledge and Dr. Loehrer, coupled with the expertise throughout the IU Simon Cancer Center, will be invaluable to implementing this WellPoint offering and could ultimately benefit millions of Americans across the country." "Researchers from the IU Simon Cancer Center are leading clinical investigators who have set standards of care for treatment of numerous malignancies, including germ cell tumors, breast and thoracic tumors," said Dr. Loehrer, director of the IU Simon Cancer Center and HH Gregg Professor of Oncology at the IU School of Medicine. "We will also be working closely with experts at the Regenstrief Institute -- an internationally respected informatics and healthcare organization -- whose scientists were among the first in the nation to establish electronic medical records. Together, our organizations have a longstanding history of impacting patient care with clinical research." WellPoint anticipates deploying their first offering later this year, working with select physician groups in clinical pilots.

About WellPoint WellPoint works to simplify the connection between Health, Care and Value.We help to improve the health of our members and our communities, and provide greater value to our customers and shareholders. WellPoint is one of the nation's largest health benefits companies, with 34 million members in its affiliated health plans, and a total of more than 65 million individuals served through its subsidiaries. As an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, WellPoint serves members as the Blue Cross licensee for California; the Blue Cross and Blue Shield licensee for Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Missouri (excluding 30 counties in the Kansas City area), Nevada, New Hampshire, New York (as the Blue Cross Blue Shield licensee in 10 New York City metropolitan and surrounding counties and as the Blue Cross or Blue Cross Blue Shield licensee in selected upstate counties only), Ohio, Virginia (excluding the Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C.), and Wisconsin. In a majority of these service areas, WellPoint's plans do business as Anthem Blue Cross, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia, Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield, or Empire Blue Cross (in the New York service areas). WellPoint also serves customers throughout the country as UniCare and in certain California, Arizona and Nevada markets through our CareMore Health Group, Inc. subsidiary. Additional information about WellPoint is available at www.wellpoint.com.

About IU Simon Cancer Center The Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center is an Indiana University School of Medicine and Indiana University Health partnership. Located in Indianapolis, IU Simon Cancer Center serves as a regional and national referral center for state-of-the-art cancer treatment and is Indiana's only National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center that provides patient care. The partnership between IU School of Medicine and IU Health is dedicated to establishing a state-wide health care delivery system that is supported by the scientific resources and clinical expertise of the medical school.

Its mission is to advance the understanding, prevention and treatment of cancer throughout Indiana and the world with patient-centered care, acceleration of promising science and collaborative educational programs. For more information, visit www.cancer.iu.edu.

About the Regenstrief Institute Inc.

The Regenstrief Institute is a distinguished medical research organization dedicated to improving the quality and delivery of health care and is the World Health Organization's first Collaborating Center for Medical Informatics. Regenstrief is the home of internationally recognized centers of excellence in biomedical and public health informatics, aging, and health services and health systems research.

The Regenstrief Institute has been an international leader in the development, implementation and evaluation of health information technology and health information standards for over forty years. For more information, please visit http://www.regenstrief.org SAFE HARBOR STATEMENT UNDER THE PRIVATE SECURITIES LITIGATION REFORM ACT OF 1995 This press release contains forward-looking information that is intended to be covered by the safe harbor for "forward-looking statements" provided by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as "expect(s)", "feel(s)", "believe(s)", "will", "may", "anticipate(s)", "intend", "estimate", "project" and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements, which generally are not historical in nature. These statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding plans, objectives and expectations with respect to future operations, products and services.

Such statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties, many of which are difficult to predict and generally beyond our control, that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in, or implied or projected by, the forward-looking information and statements. These risks and uncertainties include technical, business, financial, regulatory and/or legal issues that may arise in the development and/or implementation of the proposed WellPoint Watson solution. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements that speak only as of the date hereof. Except to the extent otherwise required by federal securities law, we do not undertake any obligation to republish revised forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events. Readers are also urged to carefully review and consider the various disclosures in WellPoint's and IBM's SEC reports.

CONTACT: Media Contacts: WellPoint Tony Felts, 317-287-6036 tony.felts@wellpoint.com or Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center Michael Schug, 317-278-0953 maschug@iupui.edu KEYWORD: UNITED STATES NORTH AMERICA INDIANA INDUSTRY KEYWORD: EDUCATION OTHER EDUCATION HEALTH HOSPITALS ONCOLOGY OTHER HEALTH PROFESSIONAL SERVICES INSURANCE GENERAL HEALTH SOURCE: WellPoint Copyright Business Wire 2012 PUB: 04/23/2012 11:10 AM/DISC: 04/23/2012 11:10 AM http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20120423006114/

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