IBM Watson working on medical license, practicing and shrinking (US)

The IBM Watson data analytics/decision-support tool now in test advising doctors on oncology at New York’s Memorial Sloan-Kettering, Los Angeles’ Cedars-Sinai and other hospitals is being prepped for the US Medical Licensing Examination, which is a three-part series which licenses medical school graduates for practice.  It’s also making progress on shrinking–not going for its psychiatry boards, but reducing its physical size: from a master bedroom to bathroom to possibly a projected smartphone size by 2020, if you can think that far in advance.  The next big step appears to be integrating ‘big data’ into Watson’s computing capabilities leading to an entirely new stage of cognitive analytics, but right now ‘Dr. Watson’ is busy digesting a big oncology data meal, according to this article:  600,000 pieces of medical evidence, two million pages of text from 42 medical journals and clinical trials. It’s also busy practicing its capabilities of sifting through 1.5 million patient records representing decades of cancer treatment history to provide to physicians evidence based treatment options. Computerworld

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  1. Steve Hards

    That’s impressive and I hope that Watson qualifies. I find myself reminding friends and relatives from time to time that it is much better to have a knowledgeable doctor who you find it difficult to relate to than a useless one that you think is ‘nice’. The trouble with human doctors is that it is difficult to know their level of knowledge and so we base our judgements on much more subjective but irrelevant criteria.