During the annual Health Information and Management Systems Society conference, IBM CEO Ginni Rometty declared that the era of cognitive computing in healthcare is upon us.
“It actually is an era that will play out in front of us, which is what we call the cognitive era,” Rometty said. “I hope to persuade you … that this idea of cognitive healthcare, systems that learn, that this is real and it’s mainstream and it is here and it can change almost everything about healthcare.”
The official IBM website says that IBM Watson Healthcare mission is to empower leaders, advocates and influencers in health through support that helps them achieve remarkable outcomes, accelerate discovery, make essential connections and gain confidence on their path to solving the world’s biggest health challenges.
Let’s look into what IBM Watson is and what exactly it will bring us.
IBM Watson is an advanced artificial intelligence program that is transforming healthcare into a quantifiable service where every bit of information is available and physicians only have to go through their personalized reports instead of reading through dozens of papers for every patient’s case.
Here are just some upgrades that IBM Watson will bring to healthcare.
Your doctor will be well-informed
At the moment one of the most significant challenges in healthcare is the huge amount of information available. Your doctor can not be aware of all the information that has been published recently. Watson however is able to search all the information, so doctors don’t have to spend hours and hours on reading and investigating.
It’s currently being used in genome analysis research at a hospital in the US where it found a third of patients were affected by information published in articles since their treatments began.
You’ll be recommended better treatments
If, for example, you’re diagnosed with cancer, you might benefit from the platform, Watson for Oncology. Usually the doctor meets with cancer patients and spends time reviewing their notes – which would be presented in paper format or in a list of emails. It turns out that A doctor’s decision will be made basing on his individual experience and the information available in front of him.
IBM Watson takes all those unstructured notes and restructures it in a way that the doctor can check easily, with treatment recommendations of which drug to give, which radiation or dosage.
You will be prescribed better medication
A very important aspect of IBM Watson is medication. Generally it takes about 12 years to produce a pill, but recent tests at the Baylor College of medicine in Houston, Texas, has reduced significant parts of the research process to weeks, months, and days. IBM Watson is able to accelerate the discovery of new treatment by streamlining research processes. As a patient, you will benefit from having more appropriate treatments available for you when you need it.
It’s clear that IBM Watson is already transforming healthcare, but much progress still lies ahead.
“We’re just at the beginning of something that will be very big and very transformative over the next 50 years,” said Watson Healthcare Executive Lead, Thomas Balkizas.
Feel free to share your thoughts about IBM Watson prospects for the near future in comments below!