Oncologists hope that IBM’s Watson supercomputer can help them improve the speed and efficacy of cancer treatments, IBM announced.



lung cancer

doctors and technology experts have spent thousands of hours helping Watson learn how to process, analyze and interpret the meaning of sophisticated clinical data

“IBM’s work with WellPoint and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center represents a landmark collaboration in how technology and evidence based medicine can transform the way in which health care is practiced. breakthrough capabilities bring forward the first in a series of Watson-based technologies, which exemplifies the value of applying big data and analytics and cognitive computing to tackle the industry’s most pressing challenges.”

  • Over 600,000 pieces of medical evidence

  • 2,000,000 pages of text from 42 academic journals and human studies (clinical trials) based on oncology research

  • A huge number of patients’ records spanning decades of cancer treatment history, including medical records and patient outcomes. Watson can sift through 1.5 million pieces of such records and provide doctors with evidence-based treatment options within seconds

training Watson to retrieve and interpret laboratory results, clinical research and physician notes, and using data on hundreds of thousands of cancer patients to put forward treatment suggestions and possible diagnostic observations

“It can take years for the latest developments in oncology to reach all practice settings. The combination of transformational technologies found in Watson with our cancer analytics and decision-making process has the potential to revolutionize the accessibility of information for the treatment of cancer in communities across the country and around the world. Ultimately, we expect this comprehensive, evidence-based approach will profoundly enhance cancer care by accelerating the dissemination of practice-changing research at an unprecedented pace.”

Watson continues to learn as if it were a medical resident, while working side-by-side with the WellPoint nurses

“The health care industry must drive transformation through innovation, including harnessing the latest technology that will ultimately benefit the health care consumer. We believe that WellPoint’s data, knowledge and extensive provider network, combined with the IBM Watson technology and Memorial Sloan-Kettering’s oncological expertise can drive this transformation.”

Two years ago, Watson occupied the area of a master bedroom, now it fits into a server the size of a pizza carton

over 90% of the nurses who have worked with Watson follow the guidance the system gives to them