IBM’s Watson puts on the White Coat

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  • Blue Cross Blue Shield parent company WellPoint Inc. is looking to IBM for help in improving healthcare. In February of this year, IBM brought their artificial intelligence system Watson into the Jeopardy! arena for a showdown between man and machine. The IBM supercomputer successfully beat Bard Rutter and Ken Jennings, two of the most successful players in the shows history.

  • The computational juggernaut will use data from patient records, the insurance company’s history of treatments, and an internal library of medical literature to recommend specific treatments to individual patients. Watson can complete this process for a single patient within mere seconds. With the amazing amount of digital data collected on patients, this system has the potential to greatly reduce health complications and poor treatment decisions. Additionally, some medical professionals are directly aiding the project by identifying the best ways Watson can facilitate the current healthcare system and interact with doctors. The program may launch as early as next year with initial trials focusing on cancer treatment centers.

    This may be the first steps toward the application of the type of personalized medicine that our guest Mark Cuban discussed on the show.

    What do you think the future of healthcare looks like?

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