Healthcare News & Insights

IBM’s Watson supercomputer to help cancer docs

Watson, the IBM supercomputer that last year beat human opponents in a game of Jeopardy, will soon report for its next assignment: helping doctors treat cancer patients. 

Last October, IBM announced a new product for physicians based on the same technology as the Watson computer.

Doctors at Cedars-Sinai’s Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute will be the first to use the technology, the Los Angeles Times reports. They will also help make tweaks to improve the system before it’s used elsewhere.

Watson can analyze 200 million pages of literature in three seconds, IBM says. That technology will be used to comb through patients’ medical histories, as well as data from medical journals and clinical trials to help doctors determine the best treatment methods for patients.

Oschin officials emphasized that the machine won’t be taking place of the physician, but rather serving as a kind of “super library” that can help doctors make more informed decisions.

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