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IBM now using Watson supercomputer to save lives

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 12 Sep 2011 22:11 User comments (7)

IBM now using Watson supercomputer to save lives IBM's supercomputer will now help save lives.
After beating up on lowly humans on 'Jeopardy,' IBM's supercomputer Watson will now help Wellpoint Inc., the health insurer with 34 million members, to diagnose medical problems and authorize the correct treatments.

By integrating Watson's database into its own existing patient information, Wellpoint says they should be able to find the best treatment and remedies in the quickest time.

Says IBM: "This very much fits into the sweet spot of what we envisioned for the applications of Watson." Wellpoint agrees: "It's really a game-changer in health care."

More specifically, the databases being integrated are Wellpoint's patient charts/electronic record, the insurance company's history of medicines and treatments, and Watson's vast database of textbooks and medical journals.

IBM says it will only take seconds for Watson to sift through all the data and provide several diagnoses or treatments.

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7 user comments

112.9.2011 22:43

Correction: Watson will now be used to minimize costs, regardless of lives lost in the process.

212.9.2011 23:09

Why do i hear... "I'm sorry Dave, I can't do that... Open the hatch HAL..."

I agree with KillerBug for the most part, but i think there might be more to the picture than just that. I would assume some of the parameters that will go in will be salary, insurance provider, age say for example:

if age > x or annual income < y)
Limit diagnoses and treatments to nothing (i.e death...)

312.9.2011 23:55

For your caclucation, X=17 and Y=50,000,000

414.9.2011 12:48

And why do you believe lives will be lost in the process? This is a great advancement in computer technology. It's not like it's just Googling symptoms, it probably has some advanced technology that's impossible to understand by us mere humans.

Of course the computer probably has some ridiculous cost, and treatment with it will be expensive, and some people may not be able to afford the huge price tag. But to say that people who can't afford to use these advances won't receive any treatment at all seems cynical to me.

IBM is an amazing company, and hopefully they'll continue to advance at this ridiculous rate for many years to come. Though I hope I don't wake up to an article that says "Watson fatally misdiagnoses 90% of patients"

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 14 Sep 2011 @ 16:28

514.9.2011 15:19

First i would completely agree this is a great improvement in health care awesome to see, no argument there. But capability and ability does not always mean availability, maybe i'm getting hardened the older i get, but i see this and at some point i would think there will be parameters in the system to filter out possible available treatments depending on who will receive the treatment. What insurance provider you have, or who are you such as a street person with no income, or a person with the right political connections, a handicap child or and elderly person. These filters i would argue will in turn filter many treatments available in some way. This is how eventually lives will be lost, i doubt all treatments at any cost will be provided without filtering... I could be wrong but i consider the greed of insurance companies...

617.9.2011 8:08

i forsee google-ads for cut rate surgeons and meds attached to the diagnosis.

717.9.2011 13:45

wow an advance in data retrieval and conspiracy theories abound.LOL.

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