Print
Technology

Watson’s Health Care Potential On Display

By Andrew Gray, posted May 9, 2014
Watson, the IBM computer system first made famous by its success on the game show Jeopardy, recently appeared in Wilmington to demonstrate its ability to help doctors better process health care information.  

On Jeopardy, the software used artificial intelligence to beat Jeopardy champion Ken Jennings, but now the computer power is being used to help doctors better understand oncology research and clinical trial management. 
 
The May 1 event was hosted by N.C. Coast Clinical Research Initiative and held at the University of North Carolina Wilmington’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. It featured Mike Orr, manager of the IBM Watson University, and Eric Woods, tech
lead for Watson Solutions and master inventor for IBM.   

“It is software. And the technology is the ability to create an expert of some kind,” Orr said in an interview before to the event.

The software analyzes all of the available documentation and then
is trained with sets of questions, Orr said.

“You train Watson, much like you have to train a human. We start using question-and-answer pairs. We create a ground truth,” Orr said.

Once Watson is trained, it is then able to provide the user with an answer and a probability that the answer is correct. 
 
For oncology research, the result is which clinical trial would be best for the patient symptoms. 

“It can go through thousands of clinical trial descriptions and find one that is appropriate,” Orr said.

A patient’s condition can be inputted, with Watson returning the treatment based on all previous treatments. Orr stressed that the goal was not to replace the doctors, only to help them process a volume of reports.

“The key is that Watson is an adviser,” Orr said. “Watson can absorb and maintain all the reports.”

He said there were an unlimited number of applications from medical and financial data to customer service applications. Each version of the Watson software is trained for a specific use based on the customer’s data that is imported.  

Outdoor product company The North Face, for example, is using the technology to help customers pick the correct equipment for a trip. 
  
Watson did not have to travel to Wilmington for the event as the system is available via the Internet as part of IBM’s cloud services.  

Watson is not a supercomputer in a traditional sense of being one giant computer but rather is a collection of servers running specialize software, Orr said.

He also said that IBM is looking for more uses, and company officials are encouraging people to submit their ideas to potentially gain access to the technology.  

For more information, go to www.ibm.com/smarterplanet/us/en/ibmwatson.
 
Ico insights

INSIGHTS

SPONSORS' CONTENT
Webilm julieformal kellystarbuckcom mg 5471

Nonstop Flights Drive Real Estate Investment While Keeping Family and Friends Connected

Julie Wilsey - Wilmington International Airport
Lgoriginalheadshot 311794626

When New Year’s Resolutions Slip to Spring

Laura Bransfield - Summerfield Custom Wellness
Nealjohnson 12191614553

Interior Decorating Dos and Don’ts

Neal Johnson - Network Real Estate

Trending News

Work To Begin Soon On Permanent Campus For Girls Leadership Academy Of Wilmington

Cece Nunn - May 24, 2018

Wilmington Entrepreneurs Honored

Christina Haley O'Neal - May 24, 2018

Wilmington Startup To Pitch At Silicon Valley Event

Jenny Callison - May 25, 2018

Wilmington Sees Rise In Tech Job Postings

Jenny Callison - May 25, 2018

Realtors, Homebuilders To Present Yearly Economic And Housing Report

Cece Nunn - May 25, 2018

In The Current Issue

Block By Block

Hundreds of millions of dollars in major development investment is on the way or in the planning stages for downtown Wilmington, but relativ...


Local B&Bs Face Changing Industry

Gwenyfar Rohler is transforming her childhood home, a 120-year-old house at 1817 Market St., into a bed and breakfast inn....


Broadhurst Appointed To State Commission

Spence Broadhurst was recently appointed to the N.C. Banking Commission....

Book On Business

The 2018 WilmingtonBiz: Book on Business is an annual publication showcasing the Wilmington region as a center of business.

Order Your Copy Today!


Galleries

Videos

2018 Power Breakfast: The Main Event
2018 WilmingtonBiz Expo - Keynote Lunch with Eric Dinenberg, Rouse Properties
2017 Health Care Heroes