IBM's Watson Heads for Clinics, Spurring Debate
As a young emergency room physician, Martin Kohn, MD, thought he knew most everything. But once in a while, quiet whispers in his ear were the difference between success and a life-threatening medical decision error.
"What saved me and my patients more often than not were three nurses in that emergency department who had been there forever, and were very diplomatic. I could be sitting there struggling because we were doing stupid things like 24-hour shifts," Kohn says. "I'd be struggling with something and one of the nurses would come up and say, Marty, did you think about such and such?"
Now, Kohn is leading the team at IBM that will bring a technology-powered version of that little voice to clinics starting at the end of 2013.
"In some ways I view Watson as that friendly, helpful nurse who by experience knows these things, and just whispers quietly over your shoulder," Kohn says. "Nobody else has to see it."
In case you missed it on the TV game show Jeopardy, Watson is a set of massively parallel probabilistic algorithms able to break apart and parse natural language in different ways, and to suggest possible answers to questions.
- Readmissions: No Quick Fix to Costly Hospital Challenge
- How Top-Ranked MA Plans Earn Their Stars
- House Calls Key to Pioneer ACO Success
- How Telehealth Pays Off for Providers, Patients
- 4 Ways to Lower the Cost to Collect from Self-Pay Patients
- Ebola: Health Officials Try to Quell Front Line Fears
- Defensive Medicine Still Prevalent Despite Tort Reform
- How Hospitals Can Become 'Upstreamists'
- 'Overtreatment' Debate Circles Back to Lung Cancer Screening
- 4 Tips for Managing Employed Physicians