Watson, after defeating humans in game of wits last year, has been busy working as a virtual resident over the last six months practicing medicine through simulations carried out using an app that was developed by IBM. But, soon enough the supercomputer will be seeing actual patients.
The supercomputer will be looking at a person’s chart, gathering data and applying algorithms on that data to come up with two action plans. As Fast Company explains, Watson, after analyzing a patient’s data, might suggest two courses of chemotherapy with confidence levels attached to each. This means for one therapy Watson will say it has a 90 per cent confidence while for the other one it may have 75 per cent confidence. This is where an actual doctor would come in, analyze the output from Watson and take the final decision.
The main benefit of having Watson do the initial work is that doctors can be sitting at completely different location and still have a 2nd best opinion sort of thing. Doctors at remote locations can have at their disposal knowledge from the world’s best oncologists that has been fed into Watson. Doctors may ask Watson about the best course of action based on a patient’s record and the supercomputer will go through several years of cancer cases data and come up with actions that would be most successful.