IBM’s Watson: From Jeopardy! to Healthcare

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Watson, the IBM supercomputer famous for defeating two human champions on Jeopardy! is tackling some serious business: healthcare. The life sciences, pharmaceutical, healthcare and biotech industries are discovering how this technology can save time, money, and lives.


Imagine a patient in New Hampshire calling his doctor to say he has the flu. Watson searches the patient’s record and discovers the patient has complained of the flu during this season for the last three years and each time it has turned out to be hay fever. Furthermore, newspapers in New Hampshire have reported a higher than usual pollen count. The physician decides to prescribe allergy medicine instead.


But Watson can be used for more serious stuff as well. The oncology experts at Cedar Sinai Cancer Institute in Los Angeles have begun putting Watson’s skills to use as a physician’s assistant, feeding Watson millions of pages of research and patient data. Watson can assist physicians and providers by quickly providing access to and distilling patient information, and combining it with an understanding of the medical literature. With medical information doubling every five years, it’s impossible for doctors to keep up with all the latest medical findings. Watson, however, can assimilate two million pages of information every three seconds.


But Watson can play a role in research as well. With medical research entering the “big data” era, today’s scientific discovery process relies more heavily upon data mining to develop conclusions. Watson’s ability to understand the meaning and context of natural language gives it the ability to mine data from physician notes, from patient self-monitoring data, from e-mails, and even from blogs and forums.


Would you like to see Watson in action? Join Continental Resources (ConRes) for a luncheon seminar at the Museum of Science in Boston on June 6th. The luncheon will feature IBM executive industry expert speakers along with an IBM Watson kiosk where you can learn more about the development and direction of IBM Watson, as well as challenge the kiosk directly at a game of Jeopardy.


Dr. Marty Kohn, Chief Medical Scientist for Care Delivery Systems in IBM Research, will speak about his research work in healthcare population analytics and the role of expert systems in the clinical decision process, including the use of the Watson supercomputer in healthcare.


Also speaking is Katherine Holland. Katherine brings more than thirty years of global leadership, expertise, industry insight and client experience to her current position as IBM’s General Manager, Global Life Sciences Industry. She leads the world wide strategy, solutions development and the P&L for clients in the biotech, pharmaceutical, medical diagnostics, medical device and related industries.


Date: June 6, 2012

Time: 11:30AM-2PM

Where: Museum of Science

1 Science Park, Boston, MA 02214


Seats are in demand.


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