IBM’s Watson Can Treat Cancer Patients Faster Than Doctors

IBM’s Watson Can Treat Cancer Patients Faster Than Doctors

The supercomputer has been taught complex clinical information to improve health care quality and efficiency.

Emma Hutchings
  • 13 february 2013

IBM‘s Watson has been trained at WellPoint and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center for over a year in the areas of oncology and utilization management. The supercomputer is helping to transform the quality and speed of care delivered to patients.

Clinicians and technology experts have spent thousands of hours “teaching” Watson how to process, analyze and interpret the meaning of complex clinical information using natural language processing. It has taken on board over 600,000 pieces of medical evidence, two million pages of text from 42 medical journals and clinical trials in the area of oncology research.

IBM’s Watson Is Helping To Enhance Cancer Care

Watson can sift through 1.5 million patient records representing decades of cancer treatment history and provide evidence-based treatment options in just a few seconds. Starting with 1,500 lung cancer cases, Watson is being trained to extract and interpret physician notes, lab results and clinical research, while sharing its expertise and experiences in treating patients with cancer. Craig B. Thompson, M.D., president of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, said:

It can take years for the latest developments in oncology to reach all practice settings. The combination of transformational technologies found in Watson with our cancer analytics and decision-making process has the potential to revolutionize the accessibility of information for the treatment of cancer in communities across the country and around the world. 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.

Check out the video below to learn more:


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