The Washington Post

Meet Dr. Watson

IBM has been at work for awhile now readying its supercomputer, Watson, for use in doctors’ offices. The idea is to gather up all the medical literature we have out there, which can’t fit in one physician’s head, and put it into one computer that could assist doctors’ decision-making. Enter Watson: The supercomputer can analyze over 200 million pages of data in three seconds, potentially making him the perfect guy (er, computer) for the job. Here’s a bit more, in a new video from IBM, about what they hope data-driven medicine will be able to do.

Data-driven medicine isn’t necessarily new: Some health insurers, such as Kaiser Permanente, have already started digging into outcomes for their own subscribers to understand which treatments work, and which don’t. Watson would have the added benefit of scouring the medical literature, too, significantly boosting its brainpower.

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