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
Lgoriginalheadshot 311794626

Summer is the New Holidaze

Laura Bransfield - Summerfield Custom Wellness
Yasminheadshotwithlogo

How Reading Works

Yasmin Tomkinson - Cape Fear Literacy Council
Dave hoff heashot 300x300

People Who Changed the World

Dave Hoff - EASI Consult

Trending News

Area Firm's Product Makes The Good Morning America Cut

Cece Nunn - Oct 17, 2018

Wilmington's Medac Urgent Care Acquired By Tennessee Firm

Cece Nunn - Oct 18, 2018

CloudWyze Gets Its First Government Contract

Johanna Cano - Oct 18, 2018

CFCC Awarded Its Largest Grant

Johanna Cano - Oct 17, 2018

To Aid Displaced Residents, City Eases Provision On Market Street Hotels

Christina Haley O'Neal - Oct 17, 2018

In The Current Issue

Insurance Industry Sees A Flood Of Claims

As Ian Archibald awaited the arrival of a State Farm Insurance adjuster at his Wilmington home on Oct. 9, his mind was also on a much more d...


Building, Rebuilding Homes After Hurricane

Homebuilders discuss labor, working with other homebuilders associations in the state and more in the wake of Hurricane Florence....


Tourist Attractions On The Mend

As recovery efforts from Hurricane Florence continue, several area attractions remain damaged in her wake. Last month’s unwelcome visitor no...

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 - Dishing on the Restaurant Biz
2018 WilmingtonBiz Expo - Keynote Lunch with Eric Dinenberg, Rouse Properties
2017 Health Care Heroes