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IBM, Cleveland Clinic collaborate to develop Watson technology for patient care


By Chuck Soder, Crain's Cleveland Business
Posted: October 15, 2013 - 2:00 pm ET
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The supercomputer technology that defeated the world's best "Jeopardy!" players is now even smarter, thanks to a collaboration between IBM Research and the Cleveland Clinic.

IBM worked with the Clinic to develop two new technologies designed to use IBM's Watson technology to improve patient care.

The Lerner College of Medicine—a collaboration between the Cleveland Clinic and Case Western Reserve University—has plans to test out both of the new technologies: WatsonPaths and Watson EMR Assistant.

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One day, WatsonPaths should be able to help doctors diagnose patients and solve medical problems, because it can understand spoken language and can consult a vast amount of medical research in an instant.

For now, though, the Lerner College of Medicine is studying the best way to use WatsonPaths for education purposes, according to Dr. Neil Mehta, director of education technology for the school.

As for Watson EMR Assistant, the college has been running a pilot study on the technology for the past three weeks. Watson EMR is designed to help healthcare providers analyze electronic medical records.

Watson learns as it interacts with humans, so the studies conducted at the Lerner College of Medicine should help the technology improve.

Since IBM began working with the Cleveland Clinic about a year ago, the company already has made several improvements to help Watson “handle more and more complex problems in real time and partner with medical experts in a much more intuitive fashion,” said Eric Brown, IBM Research director of Watson Technologies.

Still, more work needs to be done before Watson is able to act as a physician's assistant, according to Dr. Mehta.

“It is very important to do appropriate studies before using Watson in patient care,” he said.

"IBM, Cleveland Clinic collaborate to develop Watson technology for patient care" originally appeared in Crain's Cleveland Business.


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