Skip to comments.IBM Watson providing superior cancer treatment plans
Posted on 02/09/2013 5:13:56 PM PST by Vince Ferrer
The IBM Watson system gained fame by beating human contestants on the television quiz show Jeopardy! almost two years ago. Since that time, Watson has evolved from a first-of-a-kind status, to a commercial cognitive computing system gaining a 240 percent improvement in system performance, and a reduction in the systems physical requirements by 75 percent and can now be run on a single Power 750 server.
IBM Watson trained in medicine to leverage 1.5 million patient records and 2 million pages of cancer research
IBM Watson has ingested more than 600,000 pieces of medical evidence, two million pages of text from 42 medical journals and clinical trials in the area of oncology research. Watson has the power to sift through 1.5 million patient records representing decades of cancer treatment history, such as medical records and patient outcomes, and provide to physicians evidence based treatment options all in a matter of seconds.
In less than a year, Memorial Sloan-Kettering has immersed Watson in the complexities of cancer and the explosion of genetic research which has set the stage for changing care practices for many cancer patients with highly specialized treatments based on their personal genetic tumor type.
Starting with 1,500 lung cancer cases, Memorial Sloan-Kettering clinicians and analysts are training Watson to extract and interpret physician notes, lab results and clinical research, while sharing its profound expertise and experiences in treating hundreds of thousands of patients with cancer.
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, said Craig B.Thompson, M.D., President of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. 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.
IBM, Memorial Sloan-Kettering and WellPoint are introducing the first commercially based products based on Watson. These innovations represent a breakthrough in how medical professionals can apply advances in analytics and natural language processing to "big data," combined with the clinical knowledge base, including genomic data, in order to create evidence based decision support systems. These Watson-based systems are designed to assist doctors, researchers, medical centers, and insurance carriers, and ultimately enhance the quality and speed of care.
The new products include the Interactive Care Insights for Oncology, powered by Watson, in collaboration with IBM, Memorial Sloan-Kettering and WellPoint. The WellPoint Interactive Care Guide and Interactive Care Reviewer, powered by Watson, designed for utilization management in collaboration with WellPoint and IBM.
New Interactive Care Insights for Oncology The cognitive systems use insights gleaned from the deep experience of Memorial Sloan-Kettering clinicians to provide individualized treatment options based on patients medical information and the synthesis of a vast array of updated and vetted treatment guidelines, and published research.
A first of-its-kind Watson-based advisor, available through the cloud, that is expected to assist medical professionals and researchers by helping to identify individualized treatment options for patients with cancer, starting with lung cancer.
Provides users with a detailed record of the data and information used to reach the treatment options. Oncologists located anywhere can remotely access detailed treatment options based on updated research that will help them decide how best to care for an individual patient.
New WellPoint Interactive Care Guide and Interactive Care Reviewer
Delivers the first Watson-based cognitive computing system anticipated to streamline the review processes between a patient's physician and their health plan, potentially speeding approvals from utilization management professionals, reducing waste and helping ensure evidence-based care is provided.
Expected to accelerate accepted testing and treatment by shortening pre-authorization approval time, which means that patients are moving forward with the first crucial step toward treatment more quickly.
Analyzes treatment requests and matches them to WellPoints medical policies and clinical guidelines to present consistent, evidence-based responses for clinical staff to review, in the anticipation of providing faster, better informed decisions about a patients care.
WellPoint has deployed Interactive Care Reviewer to a select number of providers in the Midwest, and believes more than 1,600 providers will be using the product by the end of the year.
And what if Watson decides you’re just not worth the effort? Or is a death panel made up of ones and zeros somehow more noble?
The only problem is that all diagnoses are provided in the form of a question.
IBM is always claiming to be “building a smarter planet”. Then how come every time I look the planet seems to be getting dumber by the hour?
But my real point is that IBM is great at marketing their supposed breakthroughs - I personally take much (most) of what they say with a rather large grain of salt. Sure you can do a demo that wow’s the punters but somehow most of these demos never really make it all the way to daily life.
This one will, although most people will not interact with it directly. Eventually, maybe in ten years, you will not know whether the person on the phone is a Watson like entity or a human.
Great...Skynet started with Watson.
Probably because our view of the world is filtered through the lightweight brains of journalists.
I would wish that IBM made Lotus Notes simpler to configure and consistent with installation.
It is a horrible email client in every respect. I would trade for Outlook and its known problems. At least there is plenty of support out there. Notes advanced problems - ha. One has almost to be a software engineer to do any real fixing if it goes stupid.
House - without the attitude.
a machine will determine the best care strategy for you.
then a human death panel will deny it.
The Obamacare machine
By way of comparison, google's slogan is "Don't be evil", yet every time I look at them...
Manufacturing jobs were replaced at a speed that was barely acceptable, thus initially giving a cover for outsourcing. This time around, it is getting both the people that moved up “as they were supposed to” from manufacturing as well as people that have grown up with advanced technology jobs. In addition, the world is being used as leverage against those in the US - to where it makes no sense for many to study for professions too easily sent elsewhere.
If you want to pin it on government, you can look at the market distortions that guest worker programs provide as well as the lack of enforcement of existing immigration laws.
Garbage in, garbage out. First rule of computing.
Lotus Notes, oh man, I feel for ya!
Very cool indeed!
Just having a physician check to see what this thing says could be beneficial. Every dr can’t know the latest research based on real data.
Half the physicians are below average after all, and this might help them make better decisions. A patient will benefit. It’s good to improve the odds when YOU go in for treatment.
I think you are mistaken in this belief. The system has already demonstrated its basic ability by winning at Jeopardy. That wasn’t a parlor trick. This “demo” was run in real time without foreknowledge of the questions.
What it is doing is easy enough to comprehend. It is doing vast searches of all relevant data - and it has a grading system that helps it pick the best answers. Not magic - good engineering!
Until a few months ago, I had never tangled with it.
The id file, the names nsf file, reverting to original passwords when moving users over, so frustrating. It is the worst. Heaven forbid a precious and never used contact doesn’t show up. I had a few rounds of getting them to stay in one user’s account.
On the bright side, Watson could pull together information from 100,000s cases and see connections among treatments that work that the individual oncologist might not know exist, leading to better outcomes. For example, the results of a couple of simple tests usually not associated with cancer screening, combined with some patient history might lead Watson to recommend a course of treatment that the doctor wouldn’t have considered, even though Watson shows that that treatment for patients with those test results has a better chance of working.
Big Blue Boss, Thomas J. Watson, Sr.
You mean like, ah, a personal computer?
Besides assisting in focusing patient treatment options, I wonder if the system could be used just to synthesize important conclusions (that have not yet been noticed) from the massive amount of biomedical research.
Ah, then not to worry. We all know health insurance companies never refuse to pay for treatment.
That is the intention. Watson will have continuous access to the latest research. Every doctor you go to received a good education, but that education may be ten or twenty years old. Watson will be able to diagnose from the latest findings, and will be able to synthesize answers from more research than any one doctor would be able to read in a lifetime.