by Susan Eustis
Steve Mills IBM Sr. VP has indicated that IBM Watson leverages analytics. Mills describes the aim of Watson as an effort to provide a computer that can take large quantities of information ingested as data and create intelligence from all that data. It is a computer that is able to figure out what is important in a vast compilation of information.
IBM Watson has been filled with information from medical textbooks, from research, and from patient records. This information is often characterized by ambiguities. The miracle is that this cognitive computer can find meanings even though it is filled with a huge amount of information. Applying Watson to healthcare markets is being done, Watson in its current form can be used to assist a doctor in finding a diagnosis and a treatment. In healthcare, a patient defines sometimes vague symptoms and a doctor has to consult data, experience and literature to figure out the cause. Tests are ordered. It’s complex. Watson can help.
As Steve Mills describes the situation, IBM Watson’s aim is to create a diagnosis pathway. The aim is to provide a compliment to what the doctor or clinician knows, to improve the quality and cost of healthcare delivery. Watson can assemble more information than the doctor can without Watson, positing the possibility of letting the clinician achieve more accuracy.
According to Steve Mills, the value of Watson for healthcare is that it provides more information on a particular topic than the healthcare professional can absorb by reading. No clinician can read all the relevant data to achieve quick diagnosis without Watson as well as that clinician can with Watson.
Steven A. Mills is Senior Vice President and Group Executive – Software & Systems at IBM.
He said that physicians will need Watson as an assistant. Watson the cognitive computer is able to include data from Web sites, statistics, the latest research, and information from the medical textbooks to understand what is going on in any particular patient situation. Watson is able to take information from physicians, feed it into the existing systems, massage the information, iterate it, and serve as an intelligent adviser to a clinician.
According to Steve Mills, the value of Watson is that it can hone in on a diagnosis in an accurate manner, and it can accept qualifying information permitting it to look for more factors. Through iteration Watson can get better and better.