Thursday, April 18, 2013

IBM's Watson helps cure cancer

I'd obviously like this story wouldn't I. But, IBM's Watson system certainly isn't named after me or even after Sherlock Holme's sidekick, it's named after a former CEO of IBM. A couple of years ago Watson famously beat the two best Jeopardy! competitors to win $1,000,000 by answering (in real time) Jeopardy! questions. IBM then announced that Watson would be turned to work in healthcare. Archiving and searching the vast, and growing, corpus of medical literature. Clinical Ontology News reports that: "The Watson product in oncology, called Interactive Care Insights for Oncology, provides a Watson-based advisor, accessible through the cloud, that is intended to help identify individualized treatment options for patients with cancer, starting with lung cancer, ... In principle, 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, Watson has taken in more than 600,000 pieces of medical evidence, and 2 million pages of text from 42 medical journals and clinical trials, ... Watson is able to search through 1.5 million patient records and provide physicians with evidence-based treatment options in seconds."