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IBM's Watson supercomputer to diagnose patients

Computerworld, September 13, 2011

Watson, IBM's game-show-playing supercomputer, will soon be used to help physicians diagnose and treat cancer patients. IBM announced earlier this year that healthcare would be the first commercial application for the computer, which defeated two human champions on the popular television game show Jeopardy! in February. IBM and the WellPoint health benefits company today announced a plan to jointly create applications that can be used by WellPoint's teams of physicians and other medical personnel. IBM and WellPoint, which is Blue Cross, Blue Shield's largest health plan, have agreed to develop Watson-based applications that can improve patient care through the use of evidence-based medicine, which is designed to standardize patient treatments by identifying proven best practices. A simple example of evidence-based medicine in action would be when a provider automatically places someone who has suffered a heart attack on an aspirin regimen upon leaving the hospital.