Following Watson’s defeat of Jeopardy! champions earlier this year, doctors have been working with IBM to adapt the supercomputer’s algorithms to the healthcare industry. Now, Watson has received its first real-world assignment from WellPoint Inc., which offers health insurance in 14 states.
WellPoint hopes Watson will be able to reduce the time required to diagnose and treat patients by quickly presenting care providers with a list of possible ailments and treatment options. In order to offer potential diagnoses and treatments, Watson will combine textbooks, medical journals, and WellPoint’s treatment history database, and will compare this knowledge to patient records.
ABC News coverage: Watson, Your New Health Insurer
Flashbacks: IBM Watson Could Revolutionize Healthcare; Columbia Doctors Partner With IBM to Develop Watson’s Potential in Healthcare; IBM Watson Shows Off Its Medical Knowledge