IBM’s Watson Ready for A Clinical Role

IBM’s supercomputer Watson, made famous during a three-day appearance on Jeopardy during which it trounced former champions Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter, has now moved out of the studio and into the hospital. After spending the past year internalizing 600,000 pieces of medical evidence, 1.5 million patient records, 2 million pages of texts from medical journals, and 1,500 lung-cancer cases, IBM’s Watson will be implemented at the Maine Center for Cancer Medicine and WestMed in Westchester County, NY.

Watson will be used to analyze patient cases and recommend oncology treatment plans. IBM has developed two cloud-based applications built on the processing power of Watson. The first is an app that supports oncologists treating lung cancer patients. It will analyze the case and compile a list of treatment plans, sorted in order of probability to cure the patient’s condition.The second app will present the same information to clinicians, but will sort treatment plans based on which options the patient’s insurance will cover.

IBM is actively developing the clinical algorithms and data sets within Watson with the goal of expanding its clinical reach.

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