Cognitive Computing in Healthcare – IBM Watson #GiantHealthEvent

The term AI tends to bring up negative connotations. IBM prefer the term cognitive computing now.


Watson is a service – built to be consumed. It understands, it reasons and then learns.

Watson has no biases but rather creates answers based on evidence.

IBM believe that care is delivered in an archaic way and there are much better ways to deliver it. They see medicine as experts drawing on the experience of generally just one person and they feel that there are going to be better ways to come to clinical decisions.

A computer human team if you like.


atson can help to structure data. It can then analyse and rank that data and provide various different options. They feel that the MDT process can be greatly improved because at present decisions are often made my the most senior people rather than taking in the evidence from all the different perspectives.


Another area they are working in is clinical trials and patient matching. The final major area they are looking at is genomic insights.

The example was given of protein discovery. The Baylor team managed to find 6 new proteins using Watson in only 30 days of use. Prior to this 28 protein targets had been discovered in the past 30 years.


IBM’s next plan is to further open up the Watson API to enable teams to work together on projects.

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