IBM’s ‘Watson’ to Take on Health Care

Fresh off his victory on “Jeopardy!”, Watson now faces a new challenge: developing smart applications for the health-care industry. Experts say he has the potential to transform health care. Oh yeah, Watson is a computer.

The IBM supercomputer with an understanding of human language captured headlines in February when he beat out former “Jeopardy!” champs and is now looking to conquer the challenge of embedding current medical data into clinical practice.

With Watson, practitioners will be able to acquire, share and communicate knowledge and use evidence-based research to inform diagnostic and treatment decisions—an enticing prospect, experts say, in an era of “Big Data,” in which the output of information in health care alone is occurring at a rapid pace.

“It would take almost two decades to embed all this medical data into clinical practice,” says Dr. Michael Sherman, chief medical officer at Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare.

Not so with Watson, experts say.



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