The demand for service animals to help visually-impaired people is perhaps higher today than ever before. So the question for Guiding Eyes for the Blind quickly became—How can we improve dog-graduation rates and increase our supply of qualified guide-dogs?

Even with a rigorous 20-month training program at a cost of $50,000 for a single dog, training success rates had hovered around 30%. While Guiding Eyes had spent decades collecting detailed information about puppy raisers, trainers, dog genetic maps and medical records they never had an efficient way to analyze and utilize their data to improve success.

That’s why they turned to Watson. By working with Watson, Guiding Eyes can find insights from the organization’s half-a-million medical records and over 65,000 temperament records.

This data, put to work, allows Guiding Eyes to match key characteristics and personality traits of trainers with the appropriate dog’s temperament, medical and genetic data.

Working with Watson, Guiding Eyes anticipates to see dog graduation rates improve by at least 20%, putting more resources into what they do best—training more guide dogs to keep up with demand..

Watson APIs being used include:

To Guiding Eyes, nothing is more important than matching a blind person to the right set of “eyes.” With Watson they can now use the massive amounts of data they collect to do just that.

This is just one example of how businesses, doctors, educators and governments are working with Watson. In 45 countries and 20 industries, Watson is helping people make sense of data so they can make better decisions while uncovering new ideas.

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