Paging Dr. Watson


In the first quarter of 2012, IBM announced a partnership with Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center that would send Watson--the now famous supercomputer--to medical school, in a way, to see if it could learn to help diagnose and analyze certain cancers.

Less than a year later, Watson has digested more than 600,000 diagnostic reports, two million pages of medical journal articles, 1.5 million patient records and absorbed 14,700 hours of hands-on training. The new doctor is in the house.

A new and improved version of Watson has joined the oncology staff at the center. You can see Watson in action in this YouTube video.

Gizmag said that the first commercial big data applications for IBM's (NYSE: IBM) Watson cognitive computer have been developed by IBM, health-care facilitator WellPoint, and the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. The applications represent a breakthrough in the development of evidence-based decision support systems, the article noted.

WebMD highlighted the first application, which recommends the best drug treatment options for patients with late-stage cancers called adenocarcinomas. Mark Kris, MD, of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, said adenocarcinomas are the most common form of lung cancer, and chemotherapy is the most common form of treatment.

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