IBM Research Shows Off Two New Watson-Related Medical Projects
IBM Research announced two new Watson-related cognitive computing projects for the medical field.IBM Research announced two new cognitive computing technologies, based on Big Blue’s Watson supercomputer system that are expected to help physicians make more informed and accurate decisions faster and to cull new insights from electronic medical records (EMR). The two Watson-related cognitive projects, known as “WatsonPaths” and “Watson EMR Assistant,” are the result of a yearlong research collaboration with faculty, physicians and students at Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University. Both are key projects that will create technologies that can be leveraged by Watson to advance the technology in the domain of medicine, IBM said. With the WatsonPaths project, IBM scientists have trained the system to interact with medical domain experts in a way that’s more natural for them, enabling the user to more easily understand the structured and unstructured data sources the system consulted and the path it took in offering an option. The Watson EMR Assistant project aims to enable physicians to uncover key information from patients’ medical records in order to help improve the quality and efficiency of care. "WatsonPaths is designed to augment the problem-based learning methods that Cleveland Clinic medical students employ in the classroom,” J. Eric Jelovsek, M.D., director of the Cleveland Clinic Multidisciplinary Simulation Center, said in a statement. “The vision is for WatsonPaths to act as a useful guide for students to arrive at the most likely and least likely answers to real clinical problems, but in a classroom setting. Of course, it is also easy to visualize how this type of technology could eventually be a tool for physicians to use in real-time clinical scenarios—a powerful guiding reference to consult when diagnosing and identifying the best treatment options."
After displaying Watson’s capabilities on the game show, Jeopardy, where the system trounced human competitors, IBM announced that health care would be a key area of focus for future Watson applications. The new technology is not yet available for everyday commercial use.