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03 Jun

IBM's Watson - what's next for the Jeopardy! computer?

IBM Watson

Who could forget the big win on Jeopardy! in 2011? IBM has announced it will partner with Apple and medical device companies, Johnson & Johnson and Medtronic, to develop a health platform for its Watson supercomputer.  

Johnson & Johnson’s partnership is intended to be used in healthcare for patients who have undergone hip and knee replacements. It will use Watson’s technology to tap into various data sources, digital wellness devices, patient records and fitness smartphone apps in order to monitor vital signs and patient movement.

Medtronic plans on using this intelligent data so it can provide more than just insulin pumps and glucose monitors to its diabetic patients. Medtronic has already released digital devices which generate huge amounts of data, but the Watson software will be used to warn both patients and care providers when health is spiraling. Insulin doses will be automatically adjusted and a new health plan can be designed.

Watson, which is designed to "learn" in the way that human beings do, has been focusing on healthcare for a while now.  After it won the TV game show, doctors at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York spent a year training the supercomputer to interpret patient notes and lab results. Eventually, Watson will be able to use the information to aid oncologists around the world in

IBM Watson Health will develop an online database of constantly updated, anonymized health information collected from many sources, including health apps used by Apple customers and fitness devices.  The database "will enable doctors and researchers to draw on real-time insights from consumer health and behavioral data at a scale never before possible", John E. Kelly, a senior vice president at IBM, said in a statement.

IBM Watson Health Inforgraphic

The collaboration of these companies’ innovation will move healthcare monitoring systems to a new level in the near future.

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