IBM Puts Watson Supercomputer To Work Fighting Cancer

IBM, WellPoint, and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center recently unveiled the first commercially developed Watson-based cognitive computing breakthroughs. These innovations stand alone to help transform the quality and speed of care delivered to patients through individualized, evidence based medicine. For more than a year, clinicians and technology experts spent thousands of hours “teaching” Watson how to process, analyze and interpret the meaning of complex clinical information using natural language processing, all with the goal of helping to improve health care quality and efficiency. To date, Watson has ingested more than 600,000 pieces of medical evidence, two million pages of text from 42 medical journals and clinical trials in the area of oncology research. Watson has the power to sift through 1.5 million patient records representing decades of cancer treatment history, such as medical records and patient outcomes, and provide to physicians evidence based treatment options all in a matter of seconds.

“IBM’s work with WellPoint and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center represents a landmark collaboration in how technology and evidence based medicine can transform the way in which health care is practiced,” said Manoj Saxena, IBM General Manager, Watson Solutions. “These breakthrough capabilities bring forward the first in a series of Watson-based technologies, which exemplifies the value of applying big data and analytics and cognitive computing to tackle the industries most pressing challenges.”

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