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IBM Watson: Advisor to Cancer Patients Will Be Computer's Next Gig

Image: IBM Watson: Advisor to Cancer Patients Will Be Computer's Next Gig

By    |   Wednesday, 13 Apr 2016 10:21 AM

IBM's Watson, the natural-language computer that notched a "Jeopardy!" win in 2011, is becoming a personal advisor for cancer patients in a partnership with the American Cancer Society.

Using stores of data from ACS and IBM, the machine will offer personalized advice to cancer patients and answer questions using a combination of voice recognition and natural language processing, PC World reported.

“Watson has read reams of oncology literature, but this phase is now about learning all the cancer advocacy literature and how to support cancer patients, survivors, and caregivers in their journey,” said Dr. Kyu Rhee, chief health officer of IBM Watson Health, according to Fortune.

The advisor will learn about the patient and that patient's treatment regimen over time, allowing it to become increasingly personalized, offering advice that matches the patient’s individual characteristics and preferences. For example, the device might suggest online support groups for a particular patient rather than telephone calls.

IBM and ACS hope to make the service available early next year.

IBM Chair Ginni Rometty announced the collaboration at the World Health Care Congress on Tuesday. The company launched its IBM Watson Health business unit a year ago, noted the Boston Business Journal. It described the new technology as a “digital companion that works as a sophisticated search engine.”

“If you think about a doctor taking care of a cancer patient, they have spent hours face to face with a patient. But when that patient leaves, [there is now an] ability to have a trusted advisor that can help him or her navigate cancer care treatment and offer support — it’s something that’s very exciting,” Rhee told the Business Journal.

Exactly how the new product will take shape hasn’t been determined, but it is likely to be a website or mobile app. Over time, it will learn to anticipate the patient’s needs, like a “more advanced version of Amazon's ‘you might also like’ tool,” the Business Journal explained.

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IBM's Watson, the natural-language computer that notched a "Jeopardy!" win in 2011, is becoming a personal advisor for cancer patients in a partnership with the American Cancer Society.
ibm, watson, cancer
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2016-21-13
Wednesday, 13 Apr 2016 10:21 AM
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