Magazine article USA TODAY

"Jeopardy!" Champ Watson Assists Doctors

Magazine article USA TODAY

"Jeopardy!" Champ Watson Assists Doctors

Article excerpt

Research unveiled two new Watson-related cognitive technologies that are expected to help physicians make more informed and accurate decisions faster and to cull new insights from electronic medical records. The projects known as "Watson Paths" and "Watson EMR Assistant" are the result of a research collaboration with faculty, physicians, and students at Cleveland (Ohio) Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University. Both are key projects that will create technologies that can be leveraged by Watson to advance the technology in the domain of medicine.

With the WatsonPaths project, IBM scientists have trained the system to interact with medical domain specialists in a way that is more natural for them, enabling the user to understand more easily the structured and unstructured data sources the system consulted and the path it took in offering an option. The Watson EMR Assistant project aims to enable physicians to uncover key information from patient medical records in order to help improve the quality and efficiency of care.

On "Jeopardy!," where the Watson computer was an undisputed runaway champion when matched against humans, "it was not necessarily critical to know how Watson arrived at its answer, but doctors or domain experts in any field will want to understand what information sources Watson consulted, what logic it applied, and what inferences it made in arriving at a recommendation," says Eric Brown, IBM research director of Watson Technologies. …

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