Wednesday, March 21, 2012
world's best Jeopardy! players on US, New York U.S.A
New York U.S.A : Enough with the fun and games. Watson is going to work. IBM Company`s supercomputer system, best known for trouncing the world's best Jeopardy! players on US TV, is being tapped by one of the US's largest health insurers to help diagnose medical problems and authorise treatments. Well Point USA, which has 34.2 million members, will integrate Watson's lightning speed and deep health care database into its existing patient information, helping it choose among treatment options and medicines. "This very much fits into the sweet spot of what we envisioned for the applications of Watson," said Mr.ManojMr.ManojSaxena, general manager of an IBM division looking at how the computer can be marketed. Lori Beer, an executive vice president at Indianapolis-based Well Point USA, agreed. "It's really a game-changer in health care," she said. The Well Point USA application will combine data from three sources: a patient's chart and electronic records that a doctor or hospital has, the insurance company's history of medicines and treatments, and Watson's huge library of textbooks and medical journals. IBM says the computer can then sift through it all and answer a question in moments, providing several possible diagnoses or treatments, ranked in order of the computer's confidence, along with the basis for its answer.
"Imagine having the ability within three seconds to look through all of that information, to have it be up to date, scientifically presented to you, and based on that patients' medical needs at the moment you're caring for that patient," said Well Point USA's chief medical officer, Dr Sam Nussbaum. Mr.ManojSaxena said the Well Point USA application would likely be accessed from an ordinary computer or hand-held device. Beer said patients needn't worry that Watson will be used to help insurers deny benefits. "We're really trying to bring providers a tool that's successful, that helps drive better outcomes, which is how we want to reimburse physicians in the future," Beer said. Nussbaum said a pilot program will be rolled out early next year at several cancer centres, academic medical centers and oncology practices. Well Point USA is the US's largest publicly traded health insurer based on enrollment. It operates Blue Cross Blue Shield plans in 14 states, including New York and California. Neither party would say how much Armonk, New York-based IBM is being paid. Mr.ManojSaxena said it's the first money Watson has earned for the company; the $US1 million it won on Jeopardy! earlier this year was given to charity. Watson's next jobs will probably also be in health care, but financial services and public safety applications are on the horizon, Mr.ManojSaxena said.
Source: Brisbane Times, Australia