See How “Watson”, the IBM Supercomputer, Can Help Healthcare Decisions
July 15, 2014
Helping doctors identify treatment options
According to one expert, only 20 percent of the knowledge physicians use to diagnose and treat patients today is evidence based. Which means that one in five diagnoses is incorrect or incomplete.
And consider that the amount of medical information available is doubling every five years and that much of this data is unstructured. Physicians simply don’t have time to read every journal that can help them keep up to date with the latest advances. Given the growing complexity of medical decision making, how can healthcare providers address these problems?
Watson has the potential to transform healthcare research, how medical students learn and how payments are processed.
Physicians can use Watson to assist in diagnosing and treating patients by having it analyze large amounts of unstructured text and develop hypotheses based on that analysis.
First, the physician might describe symptoms and other related factors to the system. Watson can then identify the key pieces of information and mine the patient’s data to find relevant facts about family history, current medications and other existing conditions. It combines this information with current findings from tests, and then forms and tests hypotheses by examining a variety of data sources—treatment guidelines, electronic medical record data and doctors’ and nurses’ notes, as well as peer-reviewed research and clinical studies. From here, Watson can provide potential treatment options and its confidence rating for each suggestion.
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