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20 Oct

TBT: Dr. Watson – Transforming the Relationship Between Doctor & Patient

TBT: Dr. Watson – Transforming the Relationship Between Doctor & Patient

Remember Watson?  He is the IBM supercomputer which debuted on Jeopardy in 2011 and put us meager humans in our place intellectually (or so he thinks).  Watson was the result of IBM’s $6 Billion commitment to research that began in 2006.  The project was called “Deep QA” and was a collaborative effort between IBM and leading universities.  

Since Jeopardy - Watson has gone to school….Med School.  He has “learned” the same amount of knowledge as a second year medical student and has been “taught” to understand and accumulate medical knowledge related to lung, prostate and breast cancers.  Watson’s information base related to oncology includes 600,000 pieces of medical evidence, 2 million pages from medical journals and 1.5 million patient records to help with diagnosis.  In addition Watson gets “smarter” with each new patient he diagnoses.  The result…Watson has a 90% success rate for diagnosing lung cancer compared to 50% for human doctors.  He can also suggest the most affordable way of paying for treatment in our complex healthcare market.

What’s the future for Dr. Watson?  It is not proposed that he replaces the human doctor but provide assistance with diagnosis and reducing cost through efficient care.  Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, WellPoint and IBM’s business alliance for the development of cancer diagnosis - is hoping to make Watson available in the “Cloud” for use by other institutions.  

You can read more about the science behind Watson here…IBM Watson

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