With Watson Supercomputer,Artificial Intelligence Comes To Cancer Care

With Watson Supercomputer,Artificial Intelligence Comes To Cancer Care

Watson is an artificial intelligence computer system invented by IBM.The machine was particularly developed to answer questions on the quiz show “Jeopardy”. In the show,it consistently surpassed its human opponents on the game’s signaling device.Being a perfect example of a battle between man and machine,the super computer gained recognition all over.

As a matter of fact,Watson’s role at Jeopardy was amusing and entertaining.It is not just good at answering the quiz questions but can also diagnose medical problems,claim scientists.A new report from the New York Times shows that IBM Watson is ready for a new challenge i.e.,advising clinicians on the treatment of cancer.

IBM in association with WellPoint, Inc., and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center announced this new venture along with a set of utilization management tools to bring Watson’s powerful abilities to more industries which might give IBM an edge in the field of “big data”.

ibms-watson-to-start-dispensing-medical-adviceWatson has spent an year analyzing data on cancer treatments from the Sloan-Kettering Memorial Center and is now being offered as a cloud-based application for determining the best course of action for cancer patients.It has been learning how to practice medicine through simulations carried out using an app IBM created.

Previously,Watson succeeded as a diagnostic assistant at a few medical centers.The new Watson projects assist in the development of new pharmaceutical drugs, and can also predict when industrial machines will need maintenance.By using advances in natural language processing and analytics,it is able to process information and has improved by 240% in system performance since its Jeopardy confinement,according to the press statement.

The Watson product in oncology i.e.,the study of tumors,helps to identify individualized treatment options for patients with cancer.In other words,with the help of it,oncologists anywhere will be able to access detailed treatment options to help them decide how best to care for a patient.

To prepare for its work in oncology,scientists has taken about 600,000 pieces of medical evidence, 2 million pages of texts from medical journals, and 1,500 lung-cancer cases.Watson searched through 1.5 million patient records and assisted doctors with evidence-based treatment options in seconds.


In near future,this intelligent computer will start seeing actual patients and it will take data from a person’s chart, crunch it through some algorithms, and advice with the course of treatment to be given.

For example, it might suggest two courses of chemotherapy, but it will also say that it has a 90 percent level of confidence in one and just 75 percent in the other. That’s when an actual doctor would come in and make the final decision.

“Ultimately, we expect this comprehensive, evidence-based approach will profoundly enhance cancer care by accelerating the dissemination of practice-changing research at an unprecedented pace.”Craig B. Thompson, MD, the president and CEO of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, said in a statement.

As the data is compiled,Watson is being offered as an app that is accessible through a computer that will compare a cancer patient’s medical records with Watson’s index.It is expected to become more efficient as it works more around the hospital.

The application is presently used and owned by WellPoint and is set to be adopted by medical groups at the Maine center for Cancer Medicine and WestMed in Westchester County, New York.


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