A few years ago I started watching the famous US TV series – House MD and the show caught my attention with its lead character Dr. Gregory House, played by Hugh Laurie. The show had an almost set format, where a patient is brought into the Princeton–Plainsboro Teaching Hospital (the place where Dr. House works) with an unknown ailment. After unsuccessful diagnosis by the doctors, the case is brought to Dr. House’s attention, who with his team of doctors diagnoses the patient. The show ends with Dr. House making an almost correct diagnosis and helping the patient in his recovery.
His vastness of knowledge was what amazed me at the time and the novel way he used the knowledge to arrive at the correct diagnosis. That, for me, was what held the show together and made it successful.
When I first heard of IBM’s Watson being put to use in healthcare to help doctors arrive at specific diagnosis and provide smarter healthcare, it immediately brought to mind the thought of Dr. House – A vast storehouse of knowledge who can immediately draw conclusions and provide possible outcomes. It seemed like a fictional character actually coming to life!
Watson’s biggest differentiator is its ability to process natural language, making it more human than any computer and it just doesn’t rest there – Watson strives to learn more and more.
– Learning from its users
– Learning from prior interactions
– Learning through new information presented to Watson
Watson can be used by healthcare organizations to make sense of the tremendous amounts of data that is available in the field of healthcare.
How is Watson relevant?
Natural Language – Information exchange with Watson is just like any interaction with a human, he understands the way we talk and responds in the same manner, making sense out of unstructured data which is almost 80% of the data today.
Hypothesis Generation – On being posed with a question, Watson quickly evaluates different options and creates hypothesis evaluating them in the order of likelihood.
Dynamic Learning – Watson continuously learns from its success and failures and from the feedback.
Watch Dr. Watson in action at the Memorial Sloan – Kettering, helping fight cancer.
Finally, I really wish House M.D would be back with another season where Dr. House and Dr. Watson work together!
Watch the power of IBM Watson for Healthcare in action and IBM Smarter Care offerings at the IBM Booth #1651 at HIMSS 2014 in Orlando, Florida from February 23-27, 2014. Follow @IBMHealthcare on Twitter and join the conversation with #IBMHealthcare and #HIMSS14. We look forward to seeing you at HIMSS.
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